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Taste Buds: Farm to Table, Part 2

Buds dish out part 2 of culinary tasting event

August 29, 2013
By EMILY DOMINICI and SHAUNNA DUNDER HERSHBERGER - The Taste Buds , Times Leader

Last week, the Buds left you with the first half of food vendors that served up their specialties at Oglebay Institute's Farm to Table Culinary Tasting Event held recently on the lawn of the beautiful Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.

The event featured savory dishes of seasonally fresh meat and produce prepared onsite by local chefs, farmers' market vendors, organic wine pairings and live music.

So, picking up where we left off ...

Article Photos

Foods prepared by Wheeling Country Day School.

The Buds headed over to Wheeling Country Day School. Their display featured food from the school's lunch program, which emphasizes fresh, local, healthy, diversified and homemade foods. Today's menu featured beef and bulgur sloppy joe sliders, Greek yogurt ranch dip served with baby carrots and garden caviar, which was a mix of various beans, corn, onions and peppers, served cold and dressed with olive oil and local honey. We don't remember having a school lunch like that!

The Buds tried one of each and found the sliders very hearty and tasty, and the ranch dip had an interesting zing. However, the star of the show was the garden caviar. It was served with tortilla chips, but this stuff was so good, you could just eat it up with a spoon! Wheeling Country Day certainly earned an A+ from the Buds!

Oglebay Resort, a staple at many area functions such as this, raised the bar on creativity this year with a taste of Eastern Europe. On the menu were Vichyssoise shooters, borscht and smoked cabbage rolls. Admittedly, the Buds had heard of Vichyssoise and borscht, but never actually tasted them. Until today. Bud Shaunna apprehensively took the task of tasting both soups, which Bud Em sampled the cabbage roll.

For those not in the "know," Vichyssoise is a soup made with potato and leeks. Well that sounds good! And guess what? It was! Bud Shaunna enjoyed the creamy concoction, while Bud Em went to town on the generously sized cabbage roll. The borscht, a beet-based soup with tomato, was also surprisingly good. Maybe the Buds wouldn't be able to eat a giant bowl of this stuff, but we do appreciate our root vegetables! Kudos to Oglebay for making the Buds step out of their comfort zone - and getting pleasantly surprised along the way!

Finally, the Buds headed over to the last stop of the day, West Virginia Northern Community College. The culinary arts program at Northern is state-of-the-art and has produced some of the best several course meals the Buds have ever eaten. Chef Chris Kefauver and his staff were serving up polenta cakes with tomato jam, sweet onion and mushroom tart, corn pudding, sauteed swiss chard with house-cured bacon, cucumber salad, chicken galatine, grilled lamb loin and peach cobbler.

In true Bud fashion, Bud Em snagged and sampled the peach cobbler first. It was fabulous! In addition, the tomato jam added some sweetness to the polenta cakes, while the corn pudding, served in a casserole form, also was full of flavor and chunks of corn. The swiss chard sounded delish, however, everyone else must have thought so too because by the time the Buds made it over there, they were sadly all out of it. Good thing the chicken and cucumber salad helped cheer us up! Another great effort, as usual, by West Virginia Northern.

After filling our bellies with good eats, the Buds wandered over toward the farmers' market vendors which included Wheeling Farmers' Market - Milt Gutman of Green Ridge Farm, Susan Clutter of Pioneer Farm, Kathy Robrect, Liz Watkins, and Mick Luber; Ohio Valley Farmers' Market - Susan West of Lone Oak Farms, Diane Conroy of The Cooky Jar, June Hyre of Misty Mountain Estate, Pamela Dunn of Fine as Frog's Hair Creations, Eric Rubel of Crossroads Farm, Tom and Myra Thornton of Thornton Enterprises, Sue Wright, Ken Swisher "Mr. Green Jeans," Harlan Farms and David Morgan Jr. of Boss Bison Ranch; and Black Swan Organics.

A light afternoon rain didn't dampen the Buds' spirits at all, and we left feeling happy and satisfied. We can't wait to see what next year's Farm to Table event has in store!

The Buds can be reached at tastebuds@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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