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Member-organized event - 2006 Heartland Gathering


tammylc
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In just a couple hours the 2006 Heartland Gathering will be underway. So that future people interested in reading about member organized events don't need to page through hundreds of planning related posts, I'm creating this new thread to use just for reports and commentary during the event. The planning thread is here.

Here's what's ahead:

This afternoon we'll be visiting the Longone Culinary Archive. We'll be having dinner at Bella Ciao, where eGullet member destroit is the chef. He's put together a special menu for us. After dinner we'll head over to Zingerman's Deli for some late night shopping and browsing.

Tomorrow morning we'll head down to our local farmer's market to seek ingredients and inspiration for our Heartland Feast. Saturday afternoon sommelier Ric Jewell (currently FoH manager at Zingerman's Roadhouse, and formerly of Tribute) will be running a wine tasting for us, featuring "the best wines you've (probably) never heard of." Then there will be much cooking and noshing and hanging out, and at 7 pm we'll start serving up our multi-course extravaganza.

Sunday morning we'll start with brunch at Zingerman's Roadhouse, and follow that up with a tour of Zingerman's Coffee Company.

I know lots of people are planning to bring computers and cameras, so expect lots of real time reporting!

This event has been organized through the eG Forums by members but is not sponsored by the Society or its eG Forums. The event is open to all participating eGullet Society members, contributors and their guests. By participating in this event, you confirm your understanding and acceptance of the eGullet Events Policy, to which all eGullet Society members have already agreed.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I guess I am the first person to report in! :biggrin:

I am Tammy's house enjoying her caramels, waiting for a couple others to arrive. We had an great tour led by Jan Longone, who was very informative. This was followed by a lively dinner at Bella Ciao and some wonderful conversations with Ronnie's son Lucas.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Sorry, I have no pics -- I'm told others do -- but dinner tonight at Bella Ciao was a blast and everyone there was extraordinarily accomodating. It was great finally getting to meet so many folks who I only know on-line. Getting together in person is a great thing.

Dinner: the heirloom tomato caprese salad was terrific. The prawn and greens was delicious and all 3 entrees I tried were very nice. I especially enjoyed the Black Sea Bass with purple Peruvian mashed potatoes and asparagus. Also the little puck of fudgey chocolate with caramel and nuts was a great dessert.

After dinner, we hit Zingerman's with Tammy, which is kind of like going to Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn . . . total VIP treatment. Everyone there was so accomodating and the place is just jammed full of incredible meats, cheeses, bread and other specialty products. We especially loved their gelato! :smile:

I was thinking about heading over to Tammy's for some of those caramels but it's late and I need my beauty sleep :wink:

I'll try to take some pics tomorrow -- starting with the Farmers Market.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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. . . and some wonderful conversations with Ronnie's son Lucas.

LOL, yeah he's somewhat entertaining. Not quite as entertaining as he thinks he is but the boy sure ain't shy. :wink:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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After dinner, we hit Zingerman's with Tammy, which is kind of like going to Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn . . . total VIP treatment.  Everyone there was so accomodating and the place is just jammed full of incredible meats, cheeses, bread and other specialty products.  We especially loved their gelato! :smile:

Actually, Zingerman's treats everybody like that!

Ronnie didn't talk about all the free stuff we got at Zingerman's - baguettes, bagels, pretzels - we were there just before they closed up so they were passing out all the things that would be thrown out or donated.

Of course, all those free bagels got several people buying cream cheese for hotel room breakfasts tomorrow, so maybe there was a method to their madness...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Oh, you should all be warned - we spent much time at dinner talking about how to hold next year's Gathering in Cleveland. Lucas (Ronnie's son) was saying "see you in Cleveland" by the end of the night, so I guess they're stuck with it now.

(Seriously, while I'd be happy to host again, I keep reading all these great threads about Cleveland and would love an excuse to visit! And with a Cleveland contingent 7 people strong here for this weekend, they've clearly got the critical mass.)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Oh, and another thing you all should know - moonsqrl brings her own salt and sea salt grinders to restaurants. She carries them with her at all times. Now that's foodie dedication! We were all suitably impressed.

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Well, I've got a few pictures of the evening's events. I begged off the continued festivities at Tammy's house so I could hit the hotel gym for a while. I ate a lot of excellent food at the Bella Ciao dinner today, and felt I either had to move or burst.

But, we got kicked out of the gym fairly early on, and my loss is your gain, as I have time to go through a few of my pictures tonight. Just a few, as I need to get to sleep. Also, I need to check with a few people (Jan Longone, our wonderful host at the Longone Cullinary Archive, and Destroit, eGullet member and chef at Bella Ciao) about posting their pictures online.

First, the culinary archive:

gallery_17485_3376_36898.jpg

Next, scenes from dinner (up through the first course, anyway):

Table Setting

gallery_17485_3376_31373.jpg

Wine List

gallery_17485_3376_23361.jpg

Prosecco

gallery_17485_3376_43303.jpg

Caprese

gallery_17485_3376_10693.jpg

Commentary and more pictures will certainly follow. I'm going to hit my 10 meg picture limit this week, I think...

Next up, farmers' market at 10:00 in the morning. I hope there are still some of Tammy's fleur de sel caramels left by tomorrow.

-------

Alex Parker

Early morning edit: I somehow managed to type "fleur de lis caramels" last night.

Edited by Palladion (log)
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I have to confess, somewhere during the walk to my car (and even after a perfectly executed macchiato) I hit the wall and ended up coming straight "home" without hitting Zing's. I'm sure I'll be the object of scorn and ridicule all day tomorrow but I'll just have to live with it.

I had the sea bass and not sure I have anything new to add that Ronnie didn't already say. I thought each course was delicious and hat's off to destroit and the entire staff at Bella Ciao for a yeoman's job of taking care of a bunch of "baby birds" against the odds - someone get those poor folks a dumbwaiter, please! :shock:

And, yes, I'm afraid it's true. I won't even cross the road without my s&p mills - you never know what might be on the other side (an under-seasoned chicken, perhaps?). :cool:

Lastly, I don't know if it was Lucas' fault or Torakris' but that table behind us sure was rowdy! Remind me not to go to Alinea with them. :wink:

eta: destroit's food was perfectly seasoned . . . we were only using the salt & pepper to flavor the olive oil we were dipping our bread into. :rolleyes:

Edited by moosnsqrl (log)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Members of the foie gras conspiracy will be pleased to know that I succeeded in calling the butcher and having him set aside all of his foie for us. (About 1.5 lbs of 2 oz center cuts, if that's meaningful to anyone.)

Quoth the butcher "Man, you don't mess around."

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I am sooooo jealous. This sounds like it is shaping up to be a fantastic weekend for you all. While the food and surroundings are without a doubt wonderful, I am sure the comradery cannot be beat! Enjoy! I am looking forward to more commentary and pics. I will languish as a voyeaur through this thread.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Piping in to add that the prawn with arugula was outstanding. The sweet dressing was a wonderful counterpoint to the peppery arugula, and the shrimp were perfectly cooked. My beef tenderloin was sublime: well seasoned and so tender that it was gone before I knew it. The chocolate pave with hazelnuts (?) and caramel was a buttery, fudgy piece of heaven.

And as a participant at the "rowdy" table I'd like to say in our defense that Lucas seemed to set sweintraub's inner adolescent free, and they were hilarous. Also, my laugh is embarrasingly loud. : :huh:

As a first-timer I want to thank everyone for being so friendly. I can't decide if I'm more impressed by ronnie_suburban's charcuterie adventures, Tammy's organizaitonal skills, or her securing us all of that foie gras. Tonight will be blast.

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A mid-day update... I picked up Fat Guy at the airport and we went straight to the farmer's market. A little consultation with Tammy ended up changing the evening's menu slightly, and Steven and I went to Zingerman's to get some stuff that I can't spell or pronounce but it's some sort of fat (guanciale?).

Most of the group lunched at either Zingerman's or Monahan's (which is the fish market in Kerrytown). I'm allergic to fish so I grabbed some bi bim bop next door. Now most of the crew is headed to Tammy's cohousing place to start prepping dinner and for the wine tasting.

Edited by annarborfoodie (log)
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Ahhh... memories of (tortured graduate) days gone by. Hi all, I'm about to jump on plane to go around the world - but it sounds like you're all havin' a blast!

Tell Duff, the "Chocolate Lady" at Zingerman's Deli hello for me! She fed me well during my sojourn in A2! :raz:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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This is Joyce, wife of SamIam, logging in for Tammy. We just had a terrific wine tasting with 20 scheduled wines and one surprise. The whites were generally tart, as befitting a summer meal, as well as the preference of our wine guide, Ric, from Zingerman's. Some very interesting reds with a couple of personal favorites of Sam and I, as they will both compliment duck with current/plum/other fruit sauce. The first, domaine Charles Joguet, Cuvee Terrior, Chinon Ac, Loire FR 2003. "All strawberry and raspberry jam, with real strength and power". The second, that everyone (at least the vocal ones) raved about was Scala Dei, Cartoixa Reserva, Priorat SP, 2000. Bear in mind that this was the 19th of 20, so judgment may have been slightly impaired. Nonetheless, we're definitely planning on buying this one!

The surprise wine was a white, Les Rouesses, 2004, Reuilly. A pinot grigio type that was very nice.

Right now our cooks, plus enlisted sous chefs, are slicing, dicing and sauteeing their hearts out. Being a devoted gardener (and Michigan Master Gardener) I just returned from an herb foray in the gardens for chives, French tarragon (don't ever buy and plant regular tarragon, which has no flavor), parsley and mint. Stay tuned.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Calipoutine and I were the only ones who passed on the wine tasting and thus found ourselves doing all the manual labor. I pitted a couple hundred cherries and then moved on to slice hot peppers. I will leave you wondering what they are going to used for....

I also just came back inside from where Steven and I were grilling peaches and then zucchini, again I will leave you wondering. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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. . . and some wonderful conversations with Ronnie's son Lucas.

LOL, yeah he's somewhat entertaining. Not quite as entertaining as he thinks he is but the boy sure ain't shy. :wink:

Somewhere there lurks photographic evidence of this--right, Ronnie? :raz:

Sorry I couldn't make it, Heartlanders. Eat some Zingerman's pastrami for me.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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We've just wrapped up the sous-chefs' meeting and have settled on the menu, which I've been charged with reporting here:

5:30pm -- As we speak, a selection of cheeses and breads is going out buffet-style, for consumption as we work.

6:30pm -- Charcuterie buffet.

7:00pm -- Trio of squash preparations.

7:15pm -- Green salad with grilled peaches and seared foie gras.

7:45pm -- Grilled bacon-wrapped porgy, pasta primavera and Greek salad.

8:10pm -- Chilled heirloom tomato soup with avocado sorbet.

8:30pm -- Beef braised with chiles and Michigan cherries, with tomato salsa and sweet corn.

9:00pm -- Additional cheeses, and desserts.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Wow guys, that reads ambition. But, I have full confidence - can't wait to hear how it all goes! Curious - where did you get your charcuterie from - c/o of ronnie, et al? Or by way of Zingerman's/Big Ten (or whatever it's called now)?

Heirloom tomatoes from an eGulleter's garden??

...so jealous!

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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We're having a middle of the meal break as there's a lot of a la minute cooking that needs to be done to get the fish and pasta ready. But that's okay, because we've been eating for the last 3 hours at this point, and everyone seems ready. The avocado sorbet for moonsqrl's soup so churning now.

The charcuterie was provided by Ronnie and Edsel.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Wow guys, that reads ambition.  But, I have full confidence - can't wait to hear how it all goes!  Curious - where did you get your charcuterie from - c/o of ronnie, et al?  Or by way of Zingerman's/Big Ten (or whatever it's called now)?

Heirloom tomatoes from an eGulleter's garden??

...so jealous!

u.e.

Heirlooms from dan & denice may in MIlo, MO - I consulted with tammylc prior to driving up and the heirlooms are really just starting up here so the quantity I needed would've been difficult to round up.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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