For our third (and largest) Makers Meals I spent many a late night with Ashleigh Ferran and Julia Dann of Decent Workshop working out the details of a Winter-themed supper.
We chose to break out the meal into four courses covering the four categories of local food - From the Sea, from the Land, from the Animal and from the Trees - pairing each course with our drink of choice.
The meal was served family style to invite guests to engage with each other and enjoy the experience as a community. The concept of Makers Meals is based on the idea of Slow Food. Taking our time to enjoy the details of the food that is prepared for us as a celebration of all of the work that was put into bringing it to our table.
Part of the beauty and creativity of food is the details, which can often be lost if you don't appreciate or identify them. It's not just a winter salad but a winter kale salad with anchovy dressing, pickles, fried capers and slivered almonds. It's not just ice cream for dessert but a duo of Milkcult honey crisp apple sorbet and buttermilk ice cream. The details matter. The makers matter and they help to make our experience of eating so much better.
Below are the details of our evening together and all of the Makers that help bring taste and creativity to our community and city everyday.
Kit and Ace - Leah opened the doors of the Georgetown location of Kit and Ace to us immediately. She saw the vision for what we wanted to create and knew that she had the space to offer to make it happen. Despite multiple rental deliveries, rental pick ups, a dead car battery blocking the alley behind the shop and a 1am departure she never lost her friendly and supportive demeanor.
Wild Roots Apothecary - I knew I wanted to work with Colleen from the moment I tasted one of her concoctions at the Union Kitchen Tasting Event last year. Colleen grows all of her herbs and flowers to make her syrups and teas on her own in Sperryville, VA. Everything she makes is uniquely connected to the terroir of our region.
Marisa Albrecht - Marisa is an extremely talented photographer with a unique style that makes her photos speak to my soul. I met Marisa about a year ago and we geeked out about a supper series that brought great people together around a beautifully styled table and important conversation. It was such a treat to have her experience Makers Meals herself and play a part in sharing the magic with you.
Something Vintage Rentals - Dawn and her team have been the best to work with for our past two Makers Meals. We needed unique statement pieces to highlight the beauty of the space and the makers' products. There is no one else I would go to with our rental needs.
Taffy Floral - Michelle is a magician with flowers. I've been following her work for some time and waiting for the opportunity to bring her in for a Makers Meals. When I approached her, she just got it. She showed up with boxes of flowers and greenery and turned a beautiful space into a Dutch still life come to life.
Sally's Middle Name - I immediately asked Sally's Middle Name to help us highlight our course featuring local vegetables. I knew from experience that their work with local vegetables was exactly what we wanted. Despite being an off night for the crew, Sam prepared and drove all of the food to Georgetown with his 2-year old in the back seat. Can I just give this guy the MVP for the evening?!
Joe Baker of The Red Hen - We were so grateful for Joe's willingness to participate in this Makers Meal. We gave him a specific mission to use a less popular cut of meat like oxtail and make it into multiple courses. He blew everyone away with his delicious preparation of oxtail and we are all still dreaming about his oxtail soup with pear and chorizo.
One Eight Distilling - Alex Laufer at One Eight Distilling gave us the best suggestions for which whiskey to use in our featured cocktails for the evening. I was particularly excited to feature One Eight because they are one of the few local distilleries that focus on sourcing all of their grain locally.
Millstone Cellars - Caiti at Millstone helped us choose a cider to pair with our vegetable course and we ended up with their Sidra Americana. It was a hit and people wanted to know where they could find more. Millstone has an incredible mission of creating ciders that incorporate the local terroir by using only locally available produce.
4P Foods - Tom at 4P Foods helped us connect with a local farmer and identify oxtail as a lesser known cut of meat that farmer's often have a hard time selling. We wanted to help teach people about the importance of respecting the work of the farmer and the animal by utilizing the whole animal. 4P Foods has been a sponsor of Makers Meals from the very beginning and we look forward to having them continue to partner moving forward.
Milk Cult - When asked how to describe the dessert that they would prepare, Patrick from Milk Cult told us that it could be described somewhere around "Nectar of the Gods". If you weren't there to taste the honey crisp apple sorbet and buttermilk ice cream duo, he was absolutely right. It was the most delicious way to close the evening.
Washington's Green Grocer - Lisa contacted me after seeing a post on Instagram and she offered to be involved any way she could. We had this vision for a tablescape that was overflowing with Winter fruit that guests could forage from through the evening and take with them as they departed. This ended up being one of my favorite details of the evening - not to mention the persimmons she provided for each place setting!
Number 1 Sons - Caitlin was a sponsor of our very first Makers Meal when it was 15 guests and the food was prepared by my husband and myself - well, mostly my husband. Number 1 Sons makes the most delicious fermented vegetables and they are a perfect partner for any of our meals.
Lastly, I couldn't have pulled of this Winter Supper without the hard work and support of Ashleigh and Julia of Decent Workshop. They played such an important role in bringing the meal together and supporting me to get all of the work done. I was so sad to lose my previous partner, Anna Russell of Tomboy Design Co. to the wilds of Nashville but I couldn't have asked for a better team to step into her shoes.
STAY TUNED For another post sharing details of our Local Gift Guide and how you can support DC makers ALL YEAR ROUND!