Slow Down with Feast in the Field


  • Claverach Farm & Vineyards
  • Claverach's barn
Tomorrow, tickets go on sale for Slow Food St. Louis' annual Feast in the Field event scheduled for June 26. The event, formerly held at Prairie Grass Farm in New Florence, moves this year to Claverach Farm & Vineyards (570 Lewis Road, Eureka; 636-938-7353) in Eureka. Festivities kick off at 3 p.m. and include a seven-course dinner inside the farm's newly remodeled barn.

For those unfamiliar with the slow food movement or its community in St. Louis, Slow Food St. Louis co-leader Bill Burge describes it as getting closer to the way people experience food and eating. "Slow food is good, clean and fair food," says Burge. "It's good because it's whole and good for the earth; it's clean because it's sustainably grown and clean when you consume it; and it's fair because people earn a living wage to grow it."

The list of chefs slated to participate, led by Josh Galliano of Monarch (7401 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-644-3995), is an impressive, if not overwhelming, sampling of local talent: Christy Augustin of Le Cordon Bleu, Carl McConnell of Stone Soup Cottage, Chuck Friedhoff of Persimmon Woods, Tim Grandinetti of Overlook Farm, Anthony Devoti of Five Bistro, Nick Miller of Harvest, Cary McDowell of Winslow's Home, Steven Caravelli of Araka, Adam Altnether of Taste and Chris Bolyard of Sidney Street Café. The list hasn't been finalized; so additional cooks might sign on in the next few weeks. All of the chefs contributing to the dinner work with Claverach in some capacity.

The lengthy list of local chefs helps make the high price of tickets easier to digest: $100 for members, $125 for nonmembers, available for purchase online through Brown Paper Tickets.

Tickets prices might seem steep, but they are tax deductible, as Slow Food St. Louis is a nonprofit, and most of the money earned will be used for local farm grants. "You're keeping your money in your community, and you're helping people in your community thrive, which will ultimately make for a better community," says Burge.

Specific dishes for the vegetarian-centric (but not exclusively so) seven-course meal haven't been announced, as the menu will be largely determined by the selection of produce that Claverach has available that particular week. Some details have been confirmed, including a radish dish with pork belly by Friedhoff and Grandinetti, fresh bread baked on-site in Claverach's wood-burning oven by Augustin and a petit four seventh course. Instead of formal drink pairings, guests can opt for Schlafly beer or Claverach Vineyard Wines kegged wine -- one will potentially be a rosé, according to Burge. Alternatively, attendees are invited to bring their own libations to the event.

Editor's Note: The original post misidentified Chris Bolyard of Sidney Street as Chris Valier, a manager at the same restaurant. Apologies for the error.

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