Slow Food Columbus

Tastes of the Midwest II—menu preview

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Some of you have written in to ask what will be on the menu for our second Tastes of the Midwest dinner on October 13. The menu is still coming together at this point, but I can give you a bit of a preview (warning: what follows is NSFH—not safe for hungry people!)

Starting at 6:30, we’ll have passed appetizers. Those will include:

  • Potted Ohio rabbit, toasted sorghum cornbread, and a pickled ground-cherry mustard
    • an homage to the wild game consumed by Midwestern frontier families
  • A “Gallerie Egg” with sous-vide yolk, Yukon gold puree, tarragon crème fraîche, bowfin caviar, and sherry-maple gastrique
    • a riff on a classic deviled egg
  • Acorn Blini, with beet fluid gel, clotted cream, trout roe, and chervil
    • a nod to East European immigrants with an infusion of Midwestern native tree nuts
  • Braunschweiger with beet pickled mustard seed, farm relish, pistachio butter, and Swedish limpa bread
    • the Midwest’s smoky version of foie gras terrine, taken to a new level

… and those are just the appetizers! Dinner will consist of six courses, with beverage pairings. Our preliminary list of dinner courses includes:

  • Smoked and Pickled Pike (Walleye) with charred fennel, fennel greens, crystalized lemon zest, butternut squash gel, corn pudding, shaved shallots, and red vein sorrel
    • a tribute to what is arguably the most delicious fish in the Great Lakes
  • “Senate bean soup”:  white bean and brioche soup, ham hock marmalade, rutabaga custard, black pepper cured egg yolk, parsley ju, and cheese crisps
    • a reimagining of the classic soup that Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota mandated be served every day in the Senate dining room
  • Duck Tortellacci, confit leg, smoked red cabbage, roasted eggplant puree, “Blue Satin” Maytag emulsion, walnuts, fried sage
    • wild Midwestern game with a nod toward Blue Satin Soup, a recipe from the wife of the president of Maytag Dairy Farms in Iowa
  • Venison with wild rice and dried Michigan cherries
    • a terrific game pairing; even if you’re not fond of the football team up north, you have to admit that their state produces some pretty fantastic cherries
  • Pawpaw sherbet “popsicle”, rooftop honey anglaise, ginger streusel
    • an original recipe designed around Ohio’s own surprisingly tropical-tasting Ark of Taste fruit

There will be even more at the dinner, but I wanted to get a preview out so that you could, ideally, block out some time on the evening of the 13th and join us.

All in all, this dinner—five appetizers, six courses, and beverage pairings—is a value in its own right: I doubt you’d be able to get anything like it at any of the participating chefs’ restaurants for under twice the price. And the best part is that it’s a fundraiser: proceeds go to our school gardens program and to getting central Ohio delegates to Terra Madre, Slow Food’s biennial sustainability summit in Italy. So you can get an amazing meal and benefit your local community at the same time.

Tickets are available here. Please join us—I hope to see you there.

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