The 4th Annual Driftless Farm & Food Fest invites the community to explore local farms, learn about the future of farming, and connect with resources to expand local foods education in the tri-state area, which is part of the Driftless region.

On Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 p.m., the Annual Driftless Farm-To-Table Dinner will take place. Local foods supporters are invited to this one-of-a-kind dinner overlooking the Mississippi River at the historic Four Mounds Estate, with all funds raised going to support local foods education in Dubuque.

The dinner features a four-course meal prepared by local chefs using the season’s best homegrown ingredients. This year’s chefs include Ryan Boughton with Blaze Farm-to-Table Events, Kevin Scharpf at Brazen Open Kitchen, Miles Breed with Clarke University, and Emily and Nick Puls of East Mill Bakeshop & Catering.

This family style meal is not only an unforgettable culinary experience, but also a phenomenal way to support community food education and programming throughout the year at Four Mounds, Dubuque County ISU Extension & Outreach, and Dubuque Rescue Mission.

Seating is limited so purchase your tickets ASAP. For more information on this year’s featured chefs, contact Local Food Coordinator Carolyn Scherf at cscherf@iastate.edu. For more about the dinner, visit www.driftlessfarmcrawl.com. For tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com and search for “Driftless Farm-to-Table Dinner.”

Listed below are some of the master chefs involved in preparing the Farm-to-Table Dinner. When Julien’s Journal went to print, some of the chefs had not yet decided just what they would prepare, but rest assured, their creations for this event will be delicious.

Chef Miles Breed is a 2002 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and is currently the Director of Dining Services at Clarke University in Dubuque, IA.

His passion for local foods can be summed up with one phrase: “Buying local makes a positive impact on your community!” Miles will prepare the following recipe.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Scape Pesto
Serves 4-6 people

2 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
8 oz. garlic scapes, washed and trimmed
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the pesto: Combine the garlic scapes and a 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape the sides of the food processor and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the potatoes: Toss the potatoes with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350-degree oven until golden brown and tender. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the scape pesto. Serve immediately.

Chef Kevin Scharpf has worked in the restaurant industry for over 14 years, starting as a dishwasher at an early age. Following his passion for working in the kitchen, he continued his education at Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis, MN. During his time at school, he worked at Hotel Sofitel in their fine dining restaurant, La Fougasse. This is where he built the fundamental foundation that led him to working at the acclaimed Restaurant Daniel in New York City. He worked side by side with chefs from all over the world, learning cuisines from many different countries. It was at Restaurant Daniel where Kevin learned his passion for fine dining food and the understanding of caring for the product you work with. Kevin moved back home to Galena, IL, to marry his high school sweetheart and continue his career in Dubuque, IA. He worked at the Diamond Jo Casino for the last six years as the Executive Sous Chef, honing his management skills and perfecting his craft through state competitions. Winning first place in 2014 at the Taste of Elegance and winning a trip to the National Pork Summit in Napa Valley, CA. Kevin has taken his life experience of the culinary industry into opening Brazen Open Kitchen | Bar. After opening Brazen in 2015, Kevin was named one of FSR magazines 2016 “40 under 40” Rising Stars.

Kevin had this to say about the Farm-to-Table concept:

“I entered Brazen thinking that Farm-to-Table was what we were going to be and never thought once about the difficulties behind it. What I have learned in the first year-and-a-half of business has been an eye opener for sure. It takes an entire community to really pull this off and help the restaurants establish better pricing that makes sense for everyone. The difference in the quality of the food is a no-brainer and I hope that we keep establishing better relationships in the community to allow ourselves to take advantage of what we have locally. This year we teamed up with Paul Goldstein & Crew to work on a Brazen garden project to help get a better understanding of how our vegetables are affected by things like climate, proper handling, care, etc. It has been a fantastic experience and I think one we will continue years to come. Lastly, I will finish with how important it is to get our youth involved with food. We need to keep pushing the food movement to the youngest of minds and get them to understand the origins of the things we eat and how these foods are cared for. I feel this is pivotal for our kids’ futures.”

Kevin was still planning his dish when Julien’s Journal went to print.

Nick and Emily Puls are again involved with the Farm-to-Table Dinner. Nick is a graduate of Kendall Culinary Arts with an AAS degree in Culinary Arts and Emily Puls is a Graduate of Kirkwood with an AAS in Culinary Arts and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in the heart of Napa Valley, CA specializing in pastry arts. This married couple has worked in Chicago, Galena, and Napa Valley, CA. They are the proud owners of East Mill Bakeshop & Catering located at 620 S. Grandview Ave. in Dubuque.

Both Nick and Emily think it is very important that people become more aware of the availability of farm fresh produce and take advantage of what is growing, literally, in our own backyards. It has always been their goal, their culinary creed, and their uncompromising desire to utilize local, seasonal ingredients and organic products whenever possible.

Nick and Emily have yet to nail down exactly what they will be preparing for the Farm-to-Table Dinner, but Emily did drop a few clues. She knows that she will be using raspberries grown by Martha’s Gardens, which is small-scale grower of over 100 annual and perennial cut flower crops, all grown with sustainable practices. They provide the greater Dubuque area with not only fresh, local cut flowers, but also herbs and berries. Martha and her husband farm on 15 acres that her parents purchased in the ‘70s. Today they cultivate her father’s vision of sustainably grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They are proud to provide berries to area residents as well as local businesses from the very bushes her father planted.

“I will be preparing Martha’s raspberries in three different applications,” said Emily. “I will do them in some sort of cake form, in a frozen form, and I’m still working on the third form – whether it will be a soft presentation, like a mousse, a cream, or a sauce – I’m still not sure. But I know I will be highlighting the raspberries in three ways.”

Those dishes alone might be worth the price of a ticket.

Angela and Carolyn Linton-Canfield are our usual, monthly writers for the At Your Table section of Julien’s Journal. Though they are not involved with the Farm-to-Table Dinner this year, they were happy to give voice and space to the chefs who are preparing food for the dinner. But they still wished to add their own take on the importance of local produce and a recipe, as well.

“Growing up, my grandparents had an acre garden, with fruit trees, tons of vegetables and corn. I lived for summers where I would sit next to my Grandpa and weed and harvest the garden. We would go inside, clean the vegetables and eat them for our meal. It was pure heaven. As my passion for cooking grew and I turned it into a business, the significance of farm fresh food grew even stronger. There is simply no greater flavor from food than when it is picked fresh and at its peak. It becomes a thing of beauty, all on its own. Being a Fast Food Nation, it has been wonderful to see the number of people who are becoming more interested in learning where their food comes from. Dubuque has such a wonderful Farmers’ Market and the Farm-to-Table Dinner allows more people to experience just what fun you can have with fresh and seasonal foods from right in your own communities. And as a business, it is fantastic to not only support other small businesses and farmers, but get the best and freshest products you can get. And our clients know and appreciate the difference. Farm-to-Table is like returning to our roots. It’s the way it should be.”

Tomato and Shallot Tartin with Goat Cheese
Serves four people

1/2 lb. small ripe tomato, such as Roma or San Marzano
4 oz. of olive oil
Sprig of fresh thyme
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tbs. butter cut into pieces
3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 package of puff pastry
4 oz. goat cheese
Basil leaves for garnish
Special equipment: Four ramekins

Preheat oven to 250º.

Cut Roma tomato lengthways and place face up in shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with two to three tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with fresh thyme leaves. Roast for about 45 minutes, until they are a little soft, but still hold their shape. Remove from oven, spoon over pan juices and let cool.

Blanch shallots in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then drain and cool under running water. Peel and trim root end and cut into smaller uniform pieces so they fit in ramekins. Heat all but one tablespoon of oil in frying pan and toss in shallots. Stirring to coat, sauté about 15 to 20, until tender and beginning to turn golden brown. Toss in Rosemary, salt, and pepper and cook another five minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

In another frying pan, add sugar and two tablespoons of water. Let it stand for about three minutes, until sugar starts to dissolve. Turn on low heat and swirl pan to combine sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, increase heat and stir until it’s golden brown.

Remove from heat and mix in butter and vinegar. Mix well, until you get a nice syrup. Add shallots and tomatoes and toss to coat. Drain mixture in a colander over a bowl. Save the syrup.

Place ramekins on baking sheet and divide tomato shallot mixture evenly. Set aside to cool.

Cut puff pastry into oblong strips and roll out. They should be slightly larger than the ramekin. Press with fingers to make thinner. Lay pastry over each ramekin and tuck edges into ramekin (use spoon handle if necessary) and press down lightly. Can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours

Preheat oven to 425º and cook for 18-20 minutes, until pastry tops are crisp and starting to golden. Remove and cool for about five minutes.

Reheat syrup with remaining olive oil. Loosen pastry edge and invert onto plate. Place goat cheese slice on top and drizzle with syrup and garnish with basil leaf.

For more photos, see the September 2016 issue of Julien’s Journal Magazine.

Angela and Carolyn Linton-Canfield
After 18 years working in the food and beverage industries of Chicago and San Francisco, Angela and Carolyn started a private chef and catering company, Life’s a Feast, in the tri-state area. They embrace their passion of cooking, entertaining, and creating one-of-a-kind experiences for their clients. Carolyn and Angela now share their passion with viewers on their cable show Life’s a Feast, available on Mediacom and their YouTube channel, Life’s a Feast LLC. Both share their expertise on food and wine on our website, their website, as well as their Facebook page. Recipes and photos are the copyrighted and intellectual property of Life’s a Feast, LLC.

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