Saturday morning I awoke thinking it must still be night given how little light was coming in through the blinds. No, just yet another rainy morning. My heart sank fearing that our “fork to farm” summer solstice dinner, to be cooked by Vermilion‘s Chef Tony Chittum in the fields of our CSA farm, Potomac Vegetable Farm in Purcellville, would be canceled. Fast forward eight hours — after a damp trip to the farmers market where the farmers were practically giving food away in “rainy day sales” for the dedicated few who braved the storms — and here is the vista that awaited as we strolled from the reception at neighboring Moutoux Orchard to the dinner site.
We began the evening sipping peach-infused sparkling voignier in the peach orchards, before moving on to a surprisingly intimate feast for 100+ fellow diners, ingredients provided by six Virginia farms and Horton Vineyards, and prepared by Chef Chittum and his crew over a grill and makeshift kitchen in the middle of the field.
The additional farms — Greenstone Fields, Tree and Leaf Farm, Wheatland Vegetable Farms, and New Frontier Bison. An appetizer paired sweet beets with Alberene Ash goat cheese; the salad featured “this morning’s deviled eggs”; heirloom beets accompanied sweet Virginia ham-wrapped scallops and magnificent crab cakes; a mixed grill of beef, rabbit terrine and bison was served family-style with a sheep’s milk yogurt dressed potato salad; and luscious Caromont Farm chevre cheesecake, spiced with strawberry black pepper preserves, and Virginia peanut cookies swept us away at the conclusion of the meal, while fireflies punctuated the fields and the sun settled behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. A truly magical evening!