Hunt to Table dinner at Springdale Farms
Last weekend we went to the Hunt to Table dinner event at Springdale Farms. Set in East Austin, Springdale Farms is an urban farm with 5 acres of property. Here, Jesse Griffiths, the owner and chef at Dai Due cooked and served a four course wild game meal to raise money and awareness for the Texas Wildlife Association. Each course was paired with wine from Lewis Wines.
At around 6 o'clock, guests started to arrive at the farm. They were all given name tags and glasses of wine, and everyone gathered around for a tour of the place and listened to details about how the farm operates. Some people walked around and went on a self guided tour, walking past the cooking area where Jesse and his team were starting up the fire. All of the tables had been set and lights were strung all around giving the venue a warm glow. Once the tour ended, people started seating themselves at the tables, greeting the people around them and introducing themselves.
After the guests had settled down at their seats, a board of wild turkey and spring vegetable mousseline, caramelized wild boar rillettes with honey and habanero, mottled duck pate, wild boar bierwurst with giardiniera, and two types of mustard was served. Jesse had hunted or fished all of the meat and fish that were served himself. This was paired with a rosé called Cinsault, Mourvedre and Carignan blend 2016.
The next course was a white bass, crawfish and asparagus bisque with smoked white bass roe. The soup had so many flavors from the fish and was very delicious. This was paired with the roussane 2016.
As people started getting a little buzz, there were all kinds of chatter at the long picnic table. A guy to my left had come with some friends that go foraging for wild vegetables and fruits. They frequently go out to find berry bushes and wild cabbage in Texas, which I never knew was a thing. A girl to my right told me about the chickens and ducks she had in her yard and had traveled all the way from San Antonio for the dinner. Then there was a girl who had just moved to Austin after working on a ranch in Montana for a few months. All of these people came together at the farm from very different backgrounds and we shared many stories and laughs while we waited for the next course.
The main course was a choucroute garnie with braised sauerkraut, venison strasbourg sausage, wild boar boudin blanc, venison knackwurst and boiled kennebecks. This was served with a salad made with fresh vegetables from Springdale Farm. The wine paired with this was a mourvedre 2013 (my personal favorite).
Once the sun had gone down, the candles on the tables were lit, and dessert was served. It was a dewberry mousse, perfectly tart and juicy. I need to learn how to make this because it was so good.
Overall, it was a lovely evening with lots of food and wine involved. I will definitely be going again next year!