One of my favorite aspects of attending blogging conventions is the extracurricular events that sponsors and other participating vendors often plan. They are always a great way to meet other bloggers and spend a fun evening with like-minded food people. There is nothing better than not having to explain my excitement when a recipe turns out or the discovery of a new ingredient. These folks get it … they get me!
Sometimes the events are hosted by local people not affiliated with the conference who contact the attendees with a special party invitation. And sometimes it is the random selection of a restaurant that turns out to be entertaining, delicious, and totally unexpected. I had two of those on this trip to Seattle that I want to share with you.
We were honored to join Barn2Door’s CEO, Janelle Maiocco, along with Crystal Hoyer (COO) and Holly Robins (Lead UI/UX & Visual Designer) for a dinner that was made with local, sustainable, and organic produce and meats donated by generous local farmers and ranchers.
Barn2Door is an organization dedicated to helping people buy and sell clean, sustainable food. They want to change things and shake it up! Their website helps connect people who want to buy organic, healthy foods with the people who grow it. Without having to leave their homes, people can virtually visit multiple farms and buy their produce and meats. This is a win-win-win business model!
Often farmers lack the online presence and community to support their sales. People who live in cities often have no idea how to find the people actually growing and raising the foods they buy at the grocery store. Barn2Door provides a platform where their partners can have their own online store, connecting the two halves of the equation.
When we buy products from Barn2Door we are supporting farmers, fishers, and ranchers who don’t spray pesticides or use hormones and who care about animal welfare and soil health. Their animals live outside, naturally grazing and don’t need injections to ensure their health like those raised in sub-optimal conditions.
We arrived at Janelle’s beautiful home just outside of downtown Seattle at dusk ready to get to work prepping and cooking the donated chickens. It was a lovely evening, balmy and clear, creating the perfect atmosphere for a wonderful evening.
The back deck was set with a long farm-style table, decorated with burlap bag runners, mason jar glasses and candle holders, and fresh growing herbs creating one of the most beautiful settings I’ve seen. Especially for a group of this size. 26 of us sat down to an extravagant, indulgent and yet casual dinner. For a few hours we stepped away from the hustle of our everyday lives, spending time with friends old and new, learning about each other’s lives, relaxing and enjoying ourselves. It was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise hectic weekend.
Check out this incredible menu!
Lavender Eureka Lemon Drops
Wines paired with the meal
Coffee from Big Island Coffee Roasters
Heirloom Melon Tasting with Prosciutto and Truffle Pecorino
Fresh Bread with Blue Cheese and Roasted Farm Garlic
Czech Black Pepper Poppers with Shallots and Cream Cheese
Harissa Carrot Salad with Feta Cheese
Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herbs
Late Summer Grain and Beet Salad (Gluten-Free)
Spatchcocked, Grilled Pastured Chicken with Herbed Compound Butter
Fall Harvest Chili with Eggplant, Peppers, and Heirloom Tomatoes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Lamb Sausage Tasting and Lamb Heart Skewers
Lemon Curd with Thyme Infused Olive Oil
Crème Brulee with Rhubarb Compote
Theo Chocolate Hazelnut Praline Cake
Homespun Vanilla Ice Cream with Peach Plum Ginger Compote
Many of the bloggers who attended donated their time and culinary talents, bringing homemade dishes to be enjoyed or preparing foods at the event:
- Jana of Merlot Mommy
- Alyssa of Everyday Maven
- Kerri of I am the Maven
- Leigh of Leigh Olson Photography
- Myrissa of Almost Fit to Eat
- Heather of United States of Motherhood
- Maria of Pink Patisserie
- Sonnet of In Sonnet’s Kitchen
- Fabiola of Not Just Baked
- Emily of West of the Loop
- Chef Shannon of Gourmet Garden
- Rose of Half Her Size
- Kate of Art of the Pie
- Carrie of Poet in the Pantry
- Karen of Cooking Gluten-Free
- Lori of Fake Food Free
- Robin of What About the Food?
- Shelli of Collective 7
- Beau of Boh-Logging
- Erin of Platings and Pairings
Thank you to these urban farmers for their generous donations:
- August Farm
- Big Island Coffee Roasters
- Burke Ave Farm
- DaVinci Wine
- Edible Acres
- Fairview Orchards
- Fluit Family Farm
- Hogstead Farms
- Indianola Organics
- Island Mountain Farm
I hope you all have the opportunity to share an evening like this some time in your life. It was remarkable and, in hindsight, one of the highlights of the conference! Make sure you check out Barn2Door to support their wonderful farmers and get fabulous fresh-from-the-farm food for your family! Thank you to Janelle and the team from Barn2Door (as well as her family) for creating such a memorable evening. We loved it and hope it is the first of many!
A special shout out to the team at 6th Ave Wine Seller in Seattle for selecting the wines to pair perfectly with the menu. They were delightful to work with and incredibly helpful! We coordinated the entire order over email and they delivered it to the hotel so I could take it to the dinner. Thank you Janice and Bev!
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