Sunday, April 20, 2014
Justin Walker, executive chef at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, was the guest chef last night at the latest Flanagan's Table dinner.
Flanagan's Table, in case you haven't heard, is a farm-to-table dining experience, held once a month in a Buxton barn, that benefits the Maine Farmland Trust.
The five-course dinners feature rotating guest chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Maine. Among those who have cooked there: James Beard award winners Rob Evans and Melissa Kelly, Brian Hill, Masa Miyake, Krista Kern Desjarlais, Jason Loring, Cara Stadler, and the chefs from Hugo's and Long Grain.
The next dinner will be on March 23 and feature Pete Sueltenfuss, executive chef at Grace. The April dinner, featuring chef Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five, is already sold out. Chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street will cook in May, followed by the Hugfo's chefs in June and the Piccolo chefs in July.
Here's a look at last night's dinner.
Guests find their seats by matching the seat number on a clothespin to a number on the table.
The first course: roasted suckling pig, lemon marmalade, pickled shallots and black radish.
Grilled asparagus, roasted salsify, green garlic curd, cracklings.
Melt-in-your-mouth agnolotti, hand-dipped ricotta, oxtail, artichoke mostarda, reggiano.
In between the third and fourth courses, I tiptoed into the kitchen and saw the chef removing the duck breasts for the fourth course from the heat, while his staff watched and waited for plating.
Fourth course (my favorite): Wood-fired duck breast, black garlic, sunchokes, grits, baby turnips, onion conserva
And the dessert course: Meyer lemon curd, tres leches, caramelized white chocolate emulsion, shortbread
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.