Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dinner on the farm

Glen Ellen, October 23, 2011—
SUNDAY SUPPER on the farm today: twenty or so of us, gathered for a farewell meal with David Tanis, who's leaving Chez Panisse after many years as downstairs co-chef. We were at Bob Cannard's farm, which supplies by far the lion's share of produce served at the restaurant, and the late afternoon light over the Valley of the Moon hills was strikingly beautiful.

table.jpgThe menu seemed to me the perfect expression of Californio cooking: ranch-style cooking drawing directly from what's available, pointed up with discreet use of exotic spices. It centered on a spit-roasted pig, a wild one Angelo had shot for the occasion — succulent, lean, full of flavor, healthy. The table was laden with salads and vegetables: slaw, poblanos stuffed with corn and cheese, sliced tomatoes, roasted beets, shell beans, onion salad, crudités. There were delicious sardines with lemon zest, peppers, and olive oil; there were olives of course, and grilled bread; there was sliced tongue with chimichurri.

For dessert there was an apple tart with figs cooked in red wine and whipped cream. And best of all, throughout, there was the company of cooks and diners, people who knew why they were so happy with what they were confronting; and good conversation; and memories and good wishes for the future; and generosity and gratitude.
Rosé, Domaine Tempier (Bandol), 2008; Zinfandel, Skye Vineyards (Napa); Syrah and Pinot noir, noncommercial (Sonoma and Napa counties) (true to varietals, sound and delicious)


Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

Greetings from Finland. This blog is nice to explore, through other countries, people, culture and nature. Come and you look at pictures Teuvo blog and tell all your friends that they too would look Teuvo photos to your country's flag would rise higher than the blog my flag collection. Thank you Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

Curtis Faville said...

Good old reliable Bandol.

How many tens of thousands of gallons of that stuff have been drunk down at Chez Pa?

Charles Shere said...

Well, perhaps a slight exaggeration there, Curtis. Tens of thousands of glasses, perhaps. It is good old reliable, no doubt about it; but for every day we now set our sights just a teeny bit lower… alas…