Chef Brings A Local Touch To Powell Gardens' Annual Benefit Dinner | KCUR

Chef Brings A Local Touch To Powell Gardens' Annual Benefit Dinner

Oct 2, 2012

The fourth annual Under a Harvest Moon: A Farm-to-Table Dinner was held at Powell Gardens' Heartland Harvest Garden on Sunday.  The annual dinner supports children's educational programs in the gardens.

Chef Ted Habiger and his staff from Room 39 presented a multi-course meal that included local meats, and a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in the Heartland Harvest Garden.

"It was really fun and I was truly honored to have been asked to give this dinner," Habiger said. "My challenge was to draw on a lot of old relationships, and preserve the integrity of keeping it local. In the process, I made a lot of new relationships."

To prepare for the dinner, Habiger and his staff arrived early to forage with Matt Bunch, horticulturist at the Heartland Harvest Garden.  On a tour of the Powell Garden plots, the team found purple mizuna microgreens, red frill mustard, and a multitude of heirloom tomatoes and sweet peppers.

"We took a lot of risks and we did a lot of things we had never done before," Habiger said. "Probably not the smartest thing to do, but we went for it. There was something on every plate that we had never done done before and that was our big challenge."

Working with local farmers comes naturally to Habiger, and many of the items on the menu came from growers he draws from frequently for his menu at Room 39.

The harvest meal included local delicacies such as: smoked sopressata, homemade Shatto ricotta, and farm-raised L'Osage Paddlefish caviar, Green Dirt Farm lamb, and breads baked by Suzanne Frisse, owner of Meadowlark Acres.