Last night at Rockefeller Center’s Loft & Garden, a mix of chefs (including Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio), socially active artists, and people describing their work purely as “eco” joined host Jim Denevan and local farmers for a private taste of Deneven’s traveling supper club, Outstanding in the Field. The for-profit farm-dinner series orchestrates fifteen to twenty events per year, but Monday night was an Absolut-supported chance to screen a documentary on the five-borough sourcing of the evening’s dinner — and then eat the outcome.
Batali said he came out of interest in the farm movement — a welcome affront to what he refers to as the “post-Hamburgler” era, when we started accepting heavy marketing as a reason to get excited over food. He and other curious attendees dined family style on a rustic meal prepared by Brown Café’s chef, Alejandro Brown Alcocer: Brooklyn beets, Bronx collards, Rockaway bass, and a pig from Queens named Apollonia. Diners chuckled to learn that their pork dinner from Queens County once had some sass, and the story of Taqwa Community Farm, born from trash-heaped plots in the Bronx, was awe-inspiring.
(Oh, in case you wondering: Batali predicts Obama to sweep 37 states.)