Cocktail party provided great experience
This past Friday (Aug. 23) I had the honor of being a guest expert for Cooperstown Farmers’ Market’s Local Foods, Local Spirits Cocktail Party.
Guest Expert was really a pretty cushy job, since my role was to eat, drink and encourage discussion about the value of local foods and the businesses that make them — which is one of my favorite topics anyway. I also got a cool apron with the image of one of the great food paintings from local artist Kathy Minnig. The event was fantastic. The food and the beers, wines and liquors that went with them were amazing — all from within 50 miles of Cooperstown.
The event was held at Templeton Hall. The vendors from the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market and other friends of the market provided the meats, cheeses, produce, breads and other great, local ingredients. Then Lucy Townsend created an amazing array of small plate dishes to fill four food and beverage stations.
It started with a cheese and charcuterie table with a selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, breads, savory pastries and condiments. I probably could have spent the whole evening there, mixing and matching among them and the selection of beers and wines at the table for pairing. KyMar Farm Distillery was also pouring their Mapple Jack liqueur, which works very well with sharp cheese.
The next station was focused on vegetables, from a greens salad to veggie spreads to a chilled cucumber soup. The presentation and freshness of these local seasonal creations was fantastic and were again accompanied by a selection of wines and beers, tending toward crisp white wines and lighter brews.
The next table was a cluster of meat dishes spanning the back wall. Local fish, beef, duck and venison were all on display in beautiful and tasty bite sized dishes. The duck with bacon jelly was brilliant. The meat dishes paired nicely with the dry red wines and heartier beers on the table.