As part of the movement, the University of Alabama Environmental Council sponsored a 100-Mile Dinner at Epiphany Cafe–a farm-to-fork restaurant here in Tuscaloosa (and site of the inspirational Roasted Cauliflower Soup I blogged about this week).
The theme of a 100-Mile Dinner, as may be deduced from its moniker, is a menu entirely composed of food sourced from within a 100-mile radius. Money from the dinner funds continued efforts by the U.A. Environmental Council on behalf of the Real Food Challenge.
Donations from local farmers, and the generosity of the staff and chefs at Epiphany, made for an absolutely delightful evening. [To be honest, this type of dinner, and this type of cause, are what I miss the most about Austin.]
My friend Leigh-Ann and I arrived to a crowd of people outside, and quickly nabbed seats in the dining room. Food was served family style and seating was similar to a ‘community table’ dinner (both of which I adore). We were lucky enough to find ourselves at a table of six with just two other diners, meaning a higher food-to-person ratio for us.
A first course of local radishes, with homemade local butter, olive oil, and an herb puree had me rethinking my dislike of radishes.
Or maybe it was just–as our tablemate Elliot so eloquently stated—I wanted to take a bath in that butter (so anything I could dip into it was suddenly seen in a different light)
The surprise course–and the one we kept talking about after every subsequent dish–was a dish of local sweet potatoes atop coffee creme fraiche, with apricot puree and some sort of soy drizzle (maybe).
Local herb roasted squash came from a local farmer who was at the dinner, and whom both Leigh Ann and I name as one of our favorites at the Saturday market. [Tasting this led to a brief commentary on terrior, as we knew without a doubt, based solely on its flavor, that it had come from his farm.]
This was cooked to absolute perfection, with fry that almost fell off it was so flaky. The only thing missing? Ketchup. 😉 [What is it about anything fried that automatically conjures ketchup cravings?]
We didn’t have an opportunity to sample from Epiphany’s desserts–which include ginger lemon creme brulee--but we left perfectly content and happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening: great food, great friends, great cause.