Cooking dinner on a farm is a treat for any chef, with the chance to personally pick the season’s best and work with it within hours of harvest. But cooking dinner with other chefs in the service of a great local nonprofit that itself supports farmers might be even better.
Bon Appétit at Oracle Culinary Director Timothy Hilt, Director of Operations Heather Lee, Oracle – Santa Clara Executive Chef Randy Sarbaugh, Oracle – Redwood Shores Café Chef Andrea Cesca, and Oracle – Redwood Shores Executive Pastry Chef Terri Wu certainly think so. Along with a half-dozen or so other local chefs, they were invited to cook at The Farm on Putah Creek in Winters, CA, in the final installment of the Dinners on the Farm series for the Center for Land-Based Learning.
A California nonprofit that works to inspire, educate, and cultivate future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders, and natural resource stewards, the Center is moving to a newer, bigger spot in Woodland, CA. The dinner was a celebration of all the people, chefs, caterers, and volunteers who have helped with the last eight years of fundraising Dinners on the Farm. Guests could enjoy tasting dishes featuring locally grown or raised meat, fruit, vegetables, and grains while chatting with the chefs, farmers, bakers, vintners, and brewers and listening to live music under the olive trees.
The Oracle team — joined by Tim’s son Adam — grilled Emigh Ranch lamb chops and paired them with sourdough bread sauce, peach-fennel compote, toasted almonds, and arugula, while Terri made “s’mores in a cup” with a brownie bite, salted caramel, graham cracker, and house-made strawberry marshmallow.
Tim and his team have helped with four events since 2012. In addition, they host a farmers’ market every Tuesday at Café 300 at Oracle – Redwood Shores. Farmer Simba Baratti from Simba’s Heirloom Farm, a student at the Center for Land-Based Learning, is one of their vendors.
“I love helping with these dinners for the Center because they’re about giving back to the community that provides the schooling for the next generation of farmers,” Tim explained. “And they in turn will provide us with all the amazing local produce we can use in our operations and homes on a daily basis!”