With a successful spread of five courses prepared with locally grown ingredients, the annual Main Street Portsmouth (MSP) Farm to Table Dinner left visitors with full bellies and a new appreciation for area farmers.
Over $1,300 was raised for the betterment of downtown and the continuation of MSP work.
“This event has been about celebrating local markets and providing a service and celebration, not making a lot of money. In fact, we make nothing off tickets,” explained MSP Executive Director, Joseph Pratt. ” Money from admission goes directly towards paying the chef and staff for cooking local products from our market. When you support the farmers market, you’re not supporting some distant CEO of a huge chain store, you’re helping the community and you’re helping your neighbor.”
Fresh baked bread, melon gazpacho, along with marinated cucumber and onion were served as appetizers at each table.
“I’m excited the community was able to gather to celebrate local food and markets, especially when it is done as nice as Chef Scott Claypool prepares it. I honestly believe there is no better meal or service around, than the care that gets put into the Farm to Table dinner,” Pratt said.
Chef Claypool curated five dishes for the event, curried goat with a peach chutney, deviled eggs atop kale salad garnished with roasted beet, a palette cleansing mint sorbet followed by cabbage rolls stuffed with beef topped with tomato sauce and sauerkraut, and last but not least, dessert — a fluffy Bavarian cream and berry torte. All of which were well-received by dinner-goers.
“I think everybody enjoyed it, it’s out of the box. It’s not a typical meal that you could get anywhere else in town. It’s all part of the fun of preparing it, putting something out there that maybe people haven’t had or aren’t familiar with, or have a stigma with. The plates mostly came back clean,” joked Chef Claypool.
Main Street Portsmouth Promotional Chairwoman and Farmers Market founder Laurell DeAtley said the Farm to Table Dinner has evolved into a special event and continues to see growth each year.
Following dinner, the live pie auction was held, which featured an abundance of specialty pies baked by market vendors and volunteers. Flavors ranged from fruity pineapple, peach, berry and traditional apple to indulgent salted caramel chocolate.
DeAtley explained that the auction is something of fun and rivalry, with pies ranging from $30 to $300, all of which supports the mission of bettering downtown Portsmouth.
“The pie auction is what helps us keep tickets low and affordable. That, and the help of Southern Ohio Medical Center. They loan us the space, supplies, and people to help make this possible. They continue to be one of our greatest friends,” said Pratt.
Last year, 9 year old, Laurianne DeAtley’s made an Ohio lemon pie, which sold for $200 in the auction.
This year, she made a mixed berry pie with almond streusel, which fetched $275 at the auction.
“I have a lot of fun baking these pies,” said Laurianne. “I didn’t sell the highest this year, but that’s okay. My goal was $200 and we beat that so I was happy.”
If you didn’t make it to the dinner, you can still take advantage of fresh, local produce at the Main Street Portsmouth Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon. Patrons can find everything from homemade baked goods, produce and other products. EBT/SNAP benefits are also accepted. For more information, you can contact Farmer’s Market Manager Alex Scott at 740-727- 4737.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara