PORTSMOUTH — Main Street Portsmouth is ready to bring back one of its most popular events, the Farm to Table Dinner, after a year off, due to the pandemic.
The dinner is a celebration of local farmers and the market itself, with local farmer and Main Street Portsmouth Farmers Market on the Esplanade vendor Ronnie Richard catering with his family, especially partner and son-in-law Scott Claypool. The dinner will be made that day and feature items crafted from local goods. Meals have featured everything from hog to goat.
This year, the menu consists of top round au jus; summer salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet onions; green beans with corn nibblers over oven-roasted potatoes; and a berry cobbler.
“The dinner is always a favorite for Main Street and we hated not being able to host it last year. We are excited to bring it back this year with a great menu and plenty of good company,” Executive Director Joseph Pratt said. “Ronnie and Scott always impress and we couldn’t imagine having this event without their talent and support.”
The dinner will start with a social hour at 6 p.m., where guests will browse the dessert auction entries and be social with family and friends while local musician Andy Russell plays his acoustic music. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., family-style. Following dinner, Main Street will briefly welcome everyone and speak and then Commissioner Bryan Davis will entertain guests with his fun auctioneering ability during the annual dessert auction.
“People have grown to love the auction nearly as much as the dinner itself. It is so fun to watch Bryan pitch the pies and various desserts to people and watch guests get involved in a bidding war,” Pratt said. “Sometimes, prized desserts, or ones made by family of bidders, can reach impressive numbers. It is usually for the fun of it and people acknowledge the auction is mostly a fun donation to the program, but it makes for a great night.”
The tables are being decorated by Board of Directors members Vicky Hatcher and Barb Davis of Hog Lot Farm. Additionally, the group is keeping the practice of family-style serving, where the meal will be brought to the tables in large bowls and then the tables will serve themselves.
“We added this element in recent years and it has been really well received. It took forever to track down all of the bowls and utensils and everything is mismatched, but it lends a sort of old granny kitchen vibe that people really enjoy,” Pratt said. “Plus, it brings a new level of intimacy and friendliness for the guests, since they are passing the large bowls to each other as if they were sitting at a table with their own families, which is also something that happens less and less today.”
Pratt also commented on the risk of COVID, in relation to the tables.
“For the most part, we are being very restrictive of individual tickets. We have few tables reserved for those. Most will be for sponsored tables,” Pratt said. “That is partially due to the composition of most dinners, but also due to the pandemic. Most of these people sharing a table will come from the same families or businesses where they work closely with their tablemates on a frequent basis.”
The dinner is set for September 9 at 6 p.m. at the SOMC Friends Center. Individual tickets are $50 and sponsorships are available for $500, which include a table of 8 and recognition as a sponsor. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com/e/msp-farm-to-table-2021-tickets-166094506139 or by calling Pratt at 740.464.0203 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep up to date on the program, follow them on Facebook and their website www.mspohio.org.