Gwen Fowler



Chefs outdo themselves at dinner on the farm

Posted 10/23/2012 12:37:00 PM

Ten chefs prepared a five-course feast that was served in the cornfields and farm sheds of Thompson Farm and Nursery in Conway Sunday, Sept. 30.

The third annual Farm to Table dinner drew a crowd of about 200 eager to be outdoors on a beautiful, if slightly damp, fall evening and to sample delicious food made from produce grown nearby.

The dinner was an event of Coastal Uncorked, a food and wine festival held in Myrtle Beach each spring.

First we were taken on a hayride to a middle of a cornfield where culinary students from Horry Georgetown Technical College passed around scrumptious hors d’oeuvres they had prepared under the guidance of chef/instructors Eric Wagner and Tom Mullally. Among them were: goat cheese crostini with English green pea pesto; grilled duck breast with red pickled onion and duck bacon, served on bread with red pepper aioli; and blackened shrimp with a raspberry sauce and powdered bacon.

We were also served Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka and lemonade in souvenir mason jars.

In past years, the entire dinner was served at tables set up in the cornfield, but this year we took a ride back to the farm where the Thompson family has set up a large shed for special events. There were lights strung overhead, as well as a few chandeliers. Sawgrass provided first-rate bluegrass music for the evening.

Our first course was prepared by Chef Sean Thomas of Capriz Italian Feast in Myrtle Beach. Local shrimp, tomatoes from Thompson Farm were used in a creamy risotto, topped with candied pork belly.

Chefs Eric Masson of the Brentwood Restaurant in Little River and Curry Martin of the Aspen Grille in Myrtle Beach prepared the salad course: greens with crispy duck confit, peaches and a candied pecan vinaigrette. It was served with a corn bread crostini, served with goat cheese from Worley Lane Farms near Loris.

The third course was a generous serving of grouper, along with Brussels sprouts prepared two ways: roasted and in a slaw. Chef Caitlin Brady of Vintage 12 and Chef Mike McKinnon of the Cypress Room, both in Myrtle Beach prepared it.

My favorite course (which is saying a lot, because they were all excellent) was the braised short ribs prepared by Chef Darren Smith of Rivertown Bistro in Conway and Chef Bradley Daniels of Croissants Bistro in Myrtle Beach. The ribs were delicious, and they were served with a purloo made of Carolina Gold rice, Benton’s country ham and collard greens.

Chef Andrew Gardo of Sea Captain’s House in Myrtle Beach was responsible for a yummy fall dessert, butternut squash sour cream cake, topped with sage ice cream and cranberry compote.