I recently read the book, Secret Suppers, Rogue Chefs and Underground Restaurants in Warehouses, Townhouses, Open Fields, and Everywhere In Between by Jenn Garbee so when I received an e-mail from Artisan Baking Company owner, friend, and a great culinary school instructor, Chef Gwin Grimes, inquiring about her website’s subscribers and facebook friends’ interest in “pop-up” restaurants, I responded with an enthusiastic “yes”, offering my services if needed. When the invitation came for the first “Farm to Fork” event it was described (paraphrased) as follows:
“This one-time event will be at Wine Down Bistro, limited to 32 guests only.  Farm & Fork is a creative collaboration between Chef Andrea Blair of Wine Down Bistro, Chef Brad Waier of the Culinary School of Fort Worth, Farmer Kim Gerdeman of  Texas Prairie Farms in Godley, Cowtown Farmers Market in Fort Worth, Teel’s Custom Meats in Weatherford and Lone Oak Winery in Burleson.  It’s an especially appropriate way to wrap up National Farmer’s Week, August 7-13.  The menu was created by Chef Brad Waier of the Culinary School of Fort Worth and Artisan Baking Co.’s resident pastamaker (with his daughter, Megan Waier). The cost is $49.00 per person (additional $18.00 for wine pairing).”

Steve signed us up for both the dinner and the wine.



Chef Gwin Grimes welcoming guests



Wine Down Bistro is a charming bungalow in Burleson.  I loved the openness of the restaurant and it reminded me of one of my all time favorite restaurants which is also in a converted house, The Nest, in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Guests were greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco.  We were seated dinner-party style at tables of four or eight.  Gwin sat us with her good friends, Ron and Patty and we were joined by another couple sitting in the room, the Barclay’s.  Conversation was lively particularly with a crowd of like-minded people who appreciate the farm to table concept and love good food and wine.



The Menu:


The appetizer was a cheese plate, served family style and included Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese, Latte Da Dairy Chevre, and Artisan Baking Company crackers and pickles.  Chef Grimes made the pickles and I couldn’t stop eating them.  I enjoyed the aged gouda cheese and the Latte Da goat cheese was fresh and tangy.  We drank NV Prosecco di Valdobbiandene, Le Caseere with the appetizer.



The salad course included Littlejohn Farms watermelon and Texas Prarie Farms arugula with a balsamic reduction and glazed pecans.  The sweet and juicy watermelon was a perfect compliment to the sharp greens and Chef Grime’s glazed pecans provided the right amount of crunchiness to the dish.  The dish was served with a 2010 Lone Oak Winery Chardonique

Entree



Teel’s Custom Meats in Weatherford provided pork loins from locally raised hogs.  The loins were butterflied and stuffed with Kim’s spinach and proscuitto and Artisan’s breadcrumbs and served with gremolata.  Chef Waier created the cavatelli  pasta with beurre noisette (browned butter sauce).  I loved the texture and flavor of the handmade pasta with the rich buttery sauce. There was a beautiful tomato and vegetable terrine with lemon basil.  The wine was a 2009 Lone Oak Winery Red Mosaic

Dessert



Chef Grimes outdid herself with the rustic peach galette with vanilla bean ice cream and cajeta sauce.  The pastry was light and flaky filled with fresh, sweet peaches.  The vanilla and caramel flavors only added to the already delicious fruit.  The 2011 Lone Oak Winery Moscato was a wonderful ending to the meal.

The students from the Culinary School of Fort Worth were busy in the kitchen and serving the guests.

It was great to see the students and remember my student days with the school from Sept 2008-Dec 2009 and also a relief to know that I was just relaxing and enjoying myself as a guest and not stressed out in the kitchen!  Seeing Chef Waier, one of my instructors, was a pleasure.  I learned so much from him and continue to use what both he and Chef Grimes taught in my culinary endeavors.  I look forward to the next “pop-up” event.