Portland chefs are set to prepare a fabulous feast in Medford, Oregon, on June 11, kicking off the first in the series of state-wide farm dinners that will celebrate family farmers and craft winemakers this summer. In the context of a quintessential farm-to-table meal, the team of chefs and local food advocates at Farm to Fork Events aims to reconnect guests to the source of their food & wine: farmers and winemakers.
It’s another example of the ongoing food trend, Eating Local. Similar farm-to-fork or farm-to-table events are scheduled around the country this summer to help people connect with those who grow the foods we eat in our homes.
“Our mission is fairly simple,” says Matthew Domingo, co-founder and director of Oregon’s Farm to Fork Events. “We want people to get on the backroads, come out to see their local farms and farmers, get their feet dirty and their bellies filled, and have an unforgettable agricultural experience that they can then bring back and share with their own communities.”
The Farm to Fork Events crew travels to working farms and ranches throughout Oregon, and sets up their elaborately decorated tables in fields, meadows, barns, and greenhouses. Their meals, prepared by local celebrity chefs, feature ingredients grown or raised on the actual farm where the dinners take place, and the farmers and winemakers themselves share stories with guests throughout the meal. “Everything comes together in this beautiful synergy – the farm, food, chefs, farmers, winemakers, and guests,” says Erin Daugherty, co-founder and service manager of Farm to Fork Events. “It’s an energizing, uplifting and delicious celebration of Oregon’s local food community.”
In their second year, the husband and wife team (Domingo and Daugherty) have organized 12 events throughout the state, featuring 12 family farms and 12 local wineries. And in order to bring these celebrations to the next level, they’ve enlisted the help of 8 Oregon chefs.
The first event in Medford is already sold out.
“We’re so excited to work with our chef partners this summer,” says Domingo. “We have some seasoned farm dinner veterans, some incredibly creative technicians, and a couple of up-and-coming chefs. They’re some of the most talented people I know, but more importantly, they all practice what they preach when it comes to supporting local producers, and they’re excited to use their culinary talents to pay homage to farmers and winemakers at our events.”
Photos by Toki Cavener Photography