Last weekend we got a seat at the Fork it Over table! Featuring a secret chef/location, it was the second in a series of benefit dinners for the Westport Farmers’ Market.  Sunday morning an email directed us to Canon Grange in Wilton, Connecticut. Turns out I’ve driven right past The Grange on my way to Schoolhouse at Cannondale and never even noticed it. Despite its unassuming facade, this was a surprisingly charming spot to host an Autumn dinner for 75. The evening’s special twinkle came from the collaborative efforts of multiple local tastemakers. Chefs Johnny Vaast and Tim LaBant put a single Berkshire hog front & center, with each family-style course paired with wine by Saugatuck Grain + Grape. In addition to top-notch food and drink, there were wonderful extras: a welcoming cocktail (Maple Old Fashioned), a vintage tablescape (punctuated with cheerful dahlia bouquets), and the rocking tunes of the band House Dressing filling the night air.

Inside the Grange. I’ve never seen Something Borrowed’s tableware look so at home.

Chef Johnny Vaast of the Dressing Room. (left) Shallot custard with a parsnip foam served in an eggshell (right)

Inside the Cannon Grange.

Fried Head cheese with pickled onion and mustard sauce (left). The full menu in front of the Danbury branch of the New Haven train line (right).

Uncle Jessie  (what a great looking Ford) looks perfect next to the Grange!

Jeff Marron of Saugatuck Grain + Grape serving up the Maple Old Fashioned (left) and some ice cold Brooklyn brews (right). I completely neglected to take photos of Mimi’s wine pairings!

Market director and event planner extraordinaire, Lori Cochran Dougall (left). Ryan Ryan Fibiger of Saugatuck Craft Butchery and Farah Masani of Farah’s Farm (right).

On to dinner.

1 ) Pork Sausage with apple cabbage salad

2) Mac & cheese

3) Pork shoulder with kale, turnip, dandelion, mustard greens and a soft egg.

4)  Grilled leg meat with lacinato kale, butternut squash, cranberry beans, radish in a ham hock broth with crispy pork belly

5) Apple and leek cornbread with maple bacon ice cream and candied pecans

6 ) Apple raisin spice cake with bourbon caramel, cider poached apples with maple ice cream


Chef and food policy advocate Michel Nichan (center) playing with House Dressing band, of the Dressing Room in Westport. I hope other event organizers take note: I want to attend more farm-to-table dinners with live music!

This evening was a labor of love, honoring the sustainable, local food community that is united by the Westport Farmers’ Market.  If you’ve ever visited on a Thursday or Saturday and marveled at its busy hum or considerable range of vendors & offerings, please know the Westport Farmers’ Market needs your support. To find out how you can help, contact the Market Director Lori Cochran-Dougall.

Lastly, a big round of applause for the folks who brought this great event to life:

FOOD + DRINK  Johnny Vaast :: Dressing Room.  Tim LaBant :: Schoolhouse at Cannondale. Ryan Fibiger :: Saugutuck Craft Butchery. Farah Masani :: Farah’s Farm. Mimi McLaughlin + Jeff Marron :: Saugatuck Grain + Grape.  PLUS: Riverbrook Farm, Wave Hill Breads, Rose’s Berry Farm, Sport Hill Farm, Fort Hill Farm, Beltane Farm, Doc’s Maple Syrup VENUE Canon Grange. BAND Michel Nischan ::  House Dressing. VINTAGE TABLEWARE Lauren Kreter :: Something Borrowed. UNDERWRITERS Judy + John Wetzel. MARKET DIRECTOR Lori Cochran-Dougall :: Westport Farmers’ Market.

Monday morning October 7, 2013 is your final chance to secure a spot at this Fork it Over series. Sign up for the Westport Farmers’ Market newsletter to receive the 8 am announcement.