Wine lovers wax rhapsodic about terroir, the French term that translates as “soil” — in the oenophile realm it refers to the total impact the soil, sun and landscape has on the final taste of the wine.
Chef Ray Garcia of FIG brings that same respect for terroir to the dinner table at his delightful quarterly Farm Dinners. Every few months he serves a four-course, prix fixe dinner featuring the most exquisite, pristine produce entirely from one local family farm. The next is Wednesday, July 11th, for $70 per person, and features summer’s peak seasonal offerings from Harry’s Berries in Oxnard. The family farm uses only sustainable farming practices and no synthetic chemicals as part of its commitment to careful stewardship of the land.
Each course features three dishes served simultaneously and family style; the last Farm Dinner invoked terroir with the first dish as a whimsical flowerpot was set on the table. Inside were delicate baby veggies: fresh celery sprigs, carrots with leafy fronds attached, spicy radishes and snap peas nestled in a crunchy cardamom “soil” with a bright green goddess dressing underneath. Chef Garcia’s deft sense of when to embellish and when to let ingredients speak for themselves served the menu brilliantly.
The upcoming feast sounds equally innovative and exciting. Prepare for a dozen dishes, including Seascape Strawberries with Kampachi, Watermelon and Radish; Quinoa, Romano Beans, Marcona Almonds and Orange Blossom Honey; Diver Scallops with a Sun Gold Puree and Tempura Caper Berries; and a selection of berry-inspired desserts.
The family from the farm is on hand; they’re the celebrated guests for the evening and are available to answer any questions or chat about the pleasures and challenges of running a small family farm.
That’s some serious dirt.
FIG is located inside The Fairmont Hotel at 101 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica.
Call 310.319.3111 to make a reservation, or click here.
Image courtesy of Marina S.