Friends to Table
What a joy it was to host our second Friends to Table dinner at the Market! The vision behind Friends to Table is to showcase the talents and gifts of locals and share them with our community. And to see all these crafters come together in East Alabama was Beautiful. The vision, no doubt, was in full effect the evening of February 18. Our guests arrived to a dining experience filled with southern wood, blush wines and lilac greenery. We chose to bring the beauty of the coming Spring into the Market, to create warmth and fresh-air on a February night. Other blooms from southern gardens accented the greenery such as pink camellia, yellow jonquils and Japanese Maple. And fine dining is not complete without candle light.
The set up of crisp, clean wine glasses on the bar was inviting and our Sommelier John Mark Davis and his wife Maredith were ready for the pour. A Rose' started the evening, along with Shrimp Skewers and a Roasted Vegetable bar created by Tiffany Denson. Guests were able to mingle, find their place settings and enjoy the ambiance before dinner.
I love good music! It's a sweet part of my childhood as my father was always listening to Jazz, Classical and Old Rock. Tony Brook played at my wedding and was an easy addition to our event. He played easy, dinner music like "Over the Rainbow" and Eric Clapton but weaved in classic, old rock tunes to keep the atmosphere Lively and Fun!!
An hour into the evening and its time for Dinner. T-Lish creator Tiffany Denson, adorned the spread of greens with Local Goat Cheese, Honey Crisp Apple and her Sweet Garlic dressing. Chef Ban Stewart of Kowaliga Restaurant did a Phenomenal job serving Slow Braised Beef Cheeks and Roasted Vegetables over To Your Health Sprouted Cheese Grits. It was savory, delicious and true southern cuisine. It was like eating a very fine, delicate piece of roast. The grits and gravy melted in your mouth and I saw very few plates with left overs!!
While salads and entree's are served, John Mark and Maredith serve Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to each guest. John Mark chooses the Wine selections based on Chef's dinner pick as well as something seasonal and enjoyable by many. The Pinot went fast this time, clearly a good pick!!
Up next is Dessert. With it being Valentine's, I clearly wanted something rich and chocolate but not your typical cake or brownie delight. Well, our Chocolate Dequois was Perfect!! Layers of rich chocolate moose, with almond merengue and dark chocolate was divine. Our "Mystery Maker" did a fabulous job.
I love small, pretty details that make a fine impression. Our dinner card and mini-pack of cookies was not only helpful and fun for the guest, but added beauty and a elegant touch that compliments fine, southern dining. Anna Pate of Vi-Va-Chey Designs does our graphics and Mama's Secret Cookies was a sweet addition. My favorite detail of the night was a commissioned piece of art provided by local artist Lauren Duncan. Her color palette went along with our floral design and the beauty and talent behind her work is inspiring.
My floral designer and dear friend Mary Thomas Boyd made this gorgeous heart from foraged greenery and garden flowers. The work was a great focal point for our dining room and was another pretty art feature for our guests to admire.
It is a joy and pleasure to bring folks together over a table on our farm. To share local talent with the community is inspiring. All the laughs, smiles and kind words were felt so deeply by my husband and I. This act of giving and providing for our community is what keeps us alive. To fellowship together, with new friends and old, is a blessing! We look forward to sharing more talents, making many new friends and enjoying an abundance of good, southern dining!!