60 people experienced the magic of local food Sunday evening, but they were transfixed, transformed and delighted. Chef Fabian Botta of Ruddy Duck Tavern put on a great show for the guests at the “Farms, Food, and Friends” dinner club hosted by Carteret Local Food Network at Underground Farm and Learning Center in Beaufort. All guests were convinced of Chef Fabian’s respect for locally sourced ingredients. “It only makes sense to eat vegetables and foods while they are in ‘season’. I like to support the local farmer as they produce our healthiest freshest foods.”
Starting out with a little bite of bruschetta of eggplant from Underground Farm and garlic from LongLeaf Farm topped on a fresh and crispy crostini from Spouter’s Bakery tipped everyone in favor of eggplant.
The main course of ‘sturgeon burger’ with vegetable kabob was a surprise hit. Russian sturgeon from Marshallberg Farm, a local aquaculture enterprise focusing on Osetra caviar, was grilled and enveloped by a delicious Ruddy Duck crafted bun garnished with hydroponic lettuces from Garner Farm (yes lettuce! in late June!) and Underground Farm tomatoes, peppers and onions and Chef Botta’s secret sauce. The grilled veggie kabob featured peppers, onions and eggplant from Underground Farm and from Merrell Farm.
Dessert was a chilly treat of peaches from McLeod Farm in Kinston and blueberries from Nelson Farm in Bridgewater, and fresh mint. Our finale was a refreshing thunderstorm which sent everyone home quickly and the evening was declared a huge success.
Ruddy Duck Tavern’s success comes from the top – “Approach anything you do with passion! We’ve been creating and serving good food, for good value, for many years” says Chef Fabian.
The reason for the dinner series is two-fold – to show off how delicious our local ingredients can be enjoyed and to encourage more consumption of these local seasonal ingredients that were only crops in the field a few days prior. Chef Botta knows the value and merit of keeping our local economy strong, “I serve the best I can find, which is fresh from the farmer. We cook from scratch, keep it simple, and don’t cover up the natural flavors.”
Carteret Local Food Network seeks to strengthen the connection between farmer and consumer and increase the appreciation for the farmers’ hard work. Our local economy is very dependent on tourism, no doubt, but tourist dollars are only one part of our thriving community. Our locals deserve good healthy food choices for their families; our farmers depend on locals buying just as much as those who visit from Raleigh and further west. Let’s keep them in business!
Two more dinners remain in the 2018 series – August 26 and October 28. Several farms are vying for hosting privileges and we’re close to selecting the chef to excite our guests. You Tickets are available below or you can visit our Events page to learn more.