On Monday, we introduced you to our new Whole9 U.S. and Canada Seminar Teams; four pairs of two intelligent, driven, passionate folks who will be helping us spread our Good Food Word come late summer/early fall. We brought all eight of them to Salt Lake in early May for an intensive training, meet-and-greet, and strategic planning session. Our “summit” soon earned the nickname of “Paleo Real World,” as we rented a huge house for the event. (No hidden cameras, though. Not that they knew about, anyway.)
But our time together wasn’t all work – we had a fabulous celebration dinner planned for the team for the last day of their visit. And because we’re so good at sharing, we’re going to let you all in on our menu from that evening.
Best be gettin’ a napkin ready, ’cause we’re about to make you drool.
Local, Seasonal, Utah
We wanted to give our seminar team a taste of the Beehive State, so our theme for the dinner was Utah: Local and Seasonal. We set out to gather together the tastiest, freshest, highest-quality ingredients that our lovely state has to offer. (Click on the map image above to see our sourcing.) Our goal was to make the dinner as close to 100% local to Utah as we possibly could, and to stick with only the goodies that were currently in season.
So how does one plan a menu like this? Usually we would start with an idea for an entrée, sides, etc. However in this case, we had to allow the ingredients to dictate the recipes.
Our first mission: find some great starters. This part was super easy because here it Utah, we have salumi from Creminielli’s Fine Meats. (The great thing about Creminielli’s is that it’s local for us, but it’s also available online and in most Whole Foods stores. That means you can learn to love it, too.) Their ingredients and sourcing are impeccable, and products like bacon salami, black summer truffle Tartufo, andwild boar italian never fail to impress.
We had a little crudité plate started, but what else to add? How about a few simple local cheeses from Beehive Cheese Co., a welcome addition for those who knew they could tolerate a little dairy every now and then. We finished out the appetizer plate with Bronco Buster Beans from Yee-Haw pickle Company in Park City.
Next we sought out a great cut of meat. Lucky for us, Whole9′s Erin Handley has a sweet connection with The Copper Onion, a local restaurant that sources all of its meat locally. We ended up with a beautiful beef tenderloin from Pleasant Creek Ranch in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Nick Kirkes did the honors of grilling that sucker up right – beautifully done on the outside, still pretty and pink on the inside.
Finally, we found a local farm that sourced beautiful locally-grown produce. La Nay Ferme in Provo, Utah, was a wonderful surprise for us. It’s a fairly new entity that’s nestled in the hills of our sister city to the south. We were a little unsure about the place as we drove up (you have to meander your way through a city cemetery to get there), but once we arrived at the farm, it was apparent that this was the real deal.
We picked up two CSA shares, which included spinach, chard, mixed greens, cilantro, oregano, and parsley. We also picked up four pounds of their first crop of strawberries. Brilliant! Now our menu included a mixed green salad, with sautéed spinach and chard topped with a poached egg from Clifford Family Farm in Provo. Dallas also conjured up his famous chimichurri sauce from the herbs as an excellent compliment to the tenderloin.
But what about those strawberries? Well, we decided to let those beauties stand on their own for dessert, with a little help from local Orem, Utah chocolatier Amano. We rounded out our celebration with a red and white wine from Moab’s Castle Creek Winery.
(Now, just to be clear, this was a celebratory dinner, not a Whole30® meal – so you may notice some deviations from our usual fare. The cheese, the chocolate, the wine…these are all off-roading components of a deliberately planned feast.)
Not only was our meal scrumptious, but the company was wonderful, and the al fresco dining just made the experience that much better. Healthy foods, socialization, fun and play, personal growth, stress management, and time spent outdoors… our Whole9 Seminar Team Summit hit six of our 9 Factors (and some folks took it upon themselves to do some healthy movement, too).
If you haven’t yet planned your own local/seasonal feast, we’d highly suggest the exercise. It’s a great way to learn what edible delights you have available just outside your backyard–and share the Good Food word and your Whole9 life with those you care about.
Download our free Seasonal Produce Guide to learn more about what’s popping up now.
Photos courtesy of Erin Handley, Erin Kay Photography. Herb photo courtesy of La Ney Ferme.