What do you get when you put together 2 people who love food, the community, and the environment? The Corner Stop Eatery in Cohasset! Ron and Rudy Vale pour their heart into every meal, every customer interaction and every event that they do. And when you combine that kind of good karma with a whole farm full of people who just want everybody to have access to healthy organic food, you get a Farm To Table Dinner that benefits not only the attendees, but the entire community.
This magical event happened just 2 week ago, at Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset. Amid the bright green vegetable beds, and the beautifully colored wildflowers, thirty people sat down to a dinner cooked by one of the top Chefs in the area, Sam Cabral-Curtis from The Corner Stop.
The menu was a cornucopia of the area’s freshest, most delicious meats and seafood, and Holly Hill Farm provided all of the vegetables. Shortly after everyone arrived, guests were treated to Duxbury oysters with a cucumber mignonette. Shells were collected for composting. The oysters were followed by flatbread and edamame hummus, with arugula and feta.
Before the main course started, the guests were given a surprise treat – a tour of the farm. An antique tractor stood in what used to be horse stalls. Richardson White, the original owner of the farm, built the tractor himself, long before John Deere started mass producing.
John Belber, Education Director for the farm, lead the tour, and explained that vegetables on the farm are on a 4 year crop rotation schedule, to keep ahead of pests and disease. Beets and wildflowers occupied large beds, while leafy greens grew in smaller ones. Asparagus is a perennial vegetable, and this year was left to go to seed – to literally produce seed, for next spring’s big harvest.
After the tour, dinner began. The first course was a Farmer’s Salad made of smoked squash, cucumber, and sweet 100’s, seasoned with mint and parsley, with lemon vinaigrette.
The second course was Massachusetts Striped Bass in a carrot ginger broth, with snap peas and grilled beet rounds.
This was followed by a sumptuous whiskey marinated flank steak with Peruvian mashers atop grilled swiss chard, with green garlic butter. Dessert was a beautifully presented miniature blueberry pie, topped with a grilled nectarine, and tarragon whipped cream. The creative confection was the talk of the dinner.
The entire meal was cooked outside on a series of grills set up by Chef Sam. Timing had to be perfect, and thirty meals had to be ready at once. Sam rose to the challenge, and it was clear that nobody was leaving hungry that night. The quality and freshness of the food, as well as the complexity of the flavors, was matched only by the love of the farm shared by all of the attendees. Many were members of the farm, and others were community members who wanted to support their local, organic farmer’s market. The Holly Hill Farm stand is open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 11-6. In fact, people line up Saturday morning for fresh eggs.
Rudy and Ron, although from the South Shore, spent a lot of time in San Francisco. There they had a farm that they frequented for its organic produce. Once they moved back to Massachusetts and opened The Corner Stop, they were thrilled to discover Holly Hill Farm. Now Holly Hill and The Corner Stop work together whenever possible to promote healthy, local, fresh cuisine. The menu at The Corner Stop reflects these values as well. The South Shore community is so very lucky to have not only Holly Hill Farm and The Corner Stop Eatery in its midst.
The proceeds from the dinner will go to support Friends of Holly Hill Farm, the group that educates the community on the importance of sustainable organic farming. For more information on Holly Hill Farm, visit: http://hollyhillfarm.org. To learn more about The Corner Stop, visit: http://www.cornerstopeatery.com.