Farm to Table meal: First-ever locally sourced meal will highlight farmers, producers

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By Mallory Bilger

With menu items like homemade potato gnocchi in bellemoral cheese cream reduction and grilled New York Strip and ribeye steaks with five-year aged balsamic vinegar, Spencer County’s first-ever Farm to Table meal promises to be a succulent display of what some of the county’s best farmers have to offer.

Spencer County resident, executive and pastry chef Joshua Moore of Volare Italian Ristorante, has planned a menu and will be preparing a meal Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. for around 100 guests at the first-annual Farm to Table Meal. The meal will be held at the Spencer County Cooperative Extension Service on Oak Tree Way off Mount Washington Road.
The event is a collaborative effort between Moore, the Spencer County Cooperative Extension Service and local farmers market participants. All the featured menu items will be fresh and in season courtesy of local agriculture and horticulture enthusiasts, including Patrick and Leeta Kennedy of Stone Cross Farm & Cloverdale Creamery, Barrick Farms, Linda Street, Deutsch Farms, Lawson Family Big Springs Farm, the Moore Farm, Bill Dunning and Anna Lee Stokley, also known as “The Bread Lady.”
Moore — who lives in Little Mount and  is known for his love of locally grown and produced foods — has partnered with the extension service in the past as part of its “Sharing Ourselves” program. He said the idea for the Farm to Table meal was born from that partnership.
“We brainstormed together with everybody,” Moore said. “It just turned into this awesome thing. I think it’s going to be a great dinner this year.”
The five-course meal will include an appetizer, salad, pasta, entree and dessert. Proceeds from the meal will help send the Spencer County 4-H Meats Judging Team to the Western National Roundup in Denver, Colo., for the National Meats Judging Contest.  
Roberts said he is hoping the meal will shine light on the importance of the local farmers market and those who are dedicated to growing and creating local products. He said the county is privileged to have a partnership with Moore, who is classically trained and also deeply invested in Spencer County.
“He’s a big proponent of growing your own food,” Roberts said. “He uses a lot from his garden in his restaurant.”
Moore said he highly regards local farmers and producers.
“Being a chef and a farmer, I can have so much respect for the farmers it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s so much work and so little praise, so little income. It’s definitely something that you  have to love.”
The cost of the meal is $20 per person, but as of Monday, all spots had been filled and Roberts said a waiting list had been established. He said if this year’s meal is a success, the agency hopes to open the meal up to more guests.
“We’re going to check our supplies and see how far we can take this thing,” Roberts said.