foodies in the wild: the garden party 2

foodies in the wild: the garden party

This is an occasional feature I do when we run across people who are using their love of food to make great things happen in their community and the world around them. If you know of some awesome foodie who is doing just that, let me know so I can tell the world.

This past weekend, Rachel and I had the fun opportunity to host a garden party for some of our friends in the area. The reason we wanted to do it (the idea was actually Rachel’s brainchild) was because our little apartment happens to be in the upstairs of a gorgeous old farmhouse surrounded by beautiful land and, at the moment, Virginia in June. Our neighbors in the “big house” were out of town and gave us free reign of the kitchen and yard, so we decided it would be a great chance to let others enjoy the little rural oasis we live in every day.

The party was a big success, not the least because of two of my foodie friends who chipped in with their kitchen superpowers to make it happen: Eric and Lindsey. I was really excited to get them involved, because the three of us all have slightly different styles of how we show the love of good food in our own houses, and we’ve never cooked together before. Eric has a passion for bringing the “finer things” into home kitchens: he loves to host dinner events and serve authentic and traditional food that’s usually reserved for uppity French or Italian restaurants. Lindsey is a recipe guru: she’s always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to feed her family and friends, and even has a really cool food project where she blogs about the various vegetarian meals she and her husband are trying throughout the week.

foodies in the wild: the garden party

The two of them  were my brain trust for this party, and together we came up with an awesome menu. We also cooked like maniacs (pictured above) and did a great job working as each others’ sous chefs to provide the fresh and interesting meal we served to our friends. I wanted to feature these two because they’re both constantly looking for ways to use their food to bless their community, and in this case Rachel and I were the ones who were blessed by their cooking and friendship. As always, let me know if you run across foodie superheroes like this, so I can feature them and give them the props they deserve!

And now for some pictures from the party! The theme of the meal was kind of a simple yet gourmet take on Italian food. It was all vegetarian, and full of humble and inexpensive ingredients that we tried to elevate and showcase at their very best potential. We had everyone chip in a little money, but Rachel and I tried to keep it cheap so that it wasn’t much of a burden on anyone to join in. Luckily I had such great cooks to help me invent a menu that could meet those requirements.

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Rachel was in charge of decoration and setup, and it looked awesome.

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

First on the menu: crostini plate with tomato bruschetta, mushroom pate and caramelized onion and goat cheese

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Arugula salad with candied grapefruit and fresh mozzarella

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Roasted red pepper raviolo and a smoked portabella mushroom over a pesto-quinoa-chickpea salad with cherry tomatoes from the market.

foodies in the wild: the garden party

foodies in the wild: the garden party

foodies in the wild: the garden party

foodies in the wild: the garden party

I think this is me trying to explain why it’s important that I have a plumber’s-grade blowtorch to make creme brulee. Not shown: skeptical women and thoughtfully nodding men.

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Me showing my culinary pyro skills.

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Rachel took a turn as well.

foodies in the wild: the garden party

 

foodies in the wild: the garden party

Mixed berry creme brulee. They tasted as good as they looked, which was “amazing”.

foodies in the wild: the garden party 

A great time was had by all. Thanks for letting me share this fun idea with you! What fun things have you been doing with your kitchen lately?

2 thoughts on “foodies in the wild: the garden party

  1. Reply David Jun 19, 2012 11:04 am

    I seem to have missed my invite…

    This looks brilliant! A wonderful setting to have a party, and the food looks delicious. We’ve been introducing some vegetarian meals in to our weekly menu, as well; up to two now, trying to find more, creative ways to bump it up to 3 or 4 per week. The appetizer plate by itself might just get me there!

  2. Pingback: A busy summer! « Cooking Vegetarian

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