An Evening with Blackberry Farm
Saturday night at the 2013 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival featured a much-anticipated dinner from Blackberry Farm, the farm-to-table resort that’s tucked away in eastern Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. I knew that I would eventually enjoy a meal from this property, but I hardly ever expected it to be in a repurposed warehouse on the edge of Atlanta.
Atlanta’s eccentric Bobo Intriguing Objects hosted roughly 150 dinner guests for a four-course family-style meal in their showroom and warehouse on Chattahoochee Avenue. The resort’s outstanding beverage program complemented the food menu with several cider, beer (Blackberry Farm’s own brew, which had left the property for only the third time), and several French wine pairings. Under roughly 80 (custom-made in Poland) chandeliers, the table setting was a French country and Southern mix; fresh baguettes lined the (also custom-made in Poland) tables alongside open jars of pickled okra.
Paying homage to growers who supply the restaurant, the "Southern Farmers Dinner" menu included:
- Snap pea salad with candied pecans and Cruze Farm buttermilk dressing
- Shaved carrot salad with pea tendrils and Foggy Ridge Cider bourbon dressing
- Cruze Farm buttermilk fried catfish with fennel cucumber slaw
- Herb and garlic grilled sturgeon
- Slow-roasted suckling pig
- Braised Ancient White Park beef
- Ramp grits
- Pepper onion jus
- Potato cakes with hay butter
- Watercress salad with sweet garlic
- Brebis cheesecake with South Carolina strawberries
Having grown up in the South and lived in France, I was in awe of Blackberry Farm’s graceful balance of these very rich, distinct, and compatible terroirs.