Play with Fire

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It was a simple recipe: begin with superb ingredients, add innovative chefs and allow, no insist, they all play with fire.

On a gorgeous, sunny, Sunday afternoon in the Hudson Valley, Zak Pelaccio, chef/co-owner of Fish & Game, invited the Northern Chef’s Alliance to cook collaborative courses for one great cause.

He along with his partners, Jori Jayne Emde and Kevin Pomplun hosted the event Play with Fire on the bucolic Fish & Game Farm–near their celebrated restaurant in Hudson, New York.

And the fires were smoking hot!

John Medeski pounded groovy tunes with his scorching band, and surprise guest Amy Helm killed it, singing classics like Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City alongside Chocolate Genius.

And then, it got funky. Real funky.

Cooking up a storm on behalf of the FarmOn! Foundation, chefs from the United States and Canada teamed together to prepare some outrageously delicious small plates.

Check out this list:

April Bloomfield and Jeremy Charles Together they used snails and snow crab to cause eaters to come back for more. And more. And then another.

Matt Jennings and Rob Gentile Wow. Roasted goat with tigelle. Cheese, honey, melon, olives, eggplant. Delicious bites.

Sean Brock and Derek Dammann Killed it with ember and fire-roasted Hudson Valley vegetables from some of the Valley’s best growers.

Jamie Bissonnette and Lee Cooper Combining spit roasted chicken with turnips, lettuce, stone fruit with grilled bread and Asian flavors, they soared.

Zakary Pelaccio, Jori Jayne Emde, and Kevin Pomplun and Matty Matheson Their whole smoked pig on roti and Parker House rolls with umeboshi, spicy yogurt and maple and chili sauce. So good.

Francisco J. Migoya Ganache truffles scented with tobacco? Lemon-Verbena ice pops? Come on, that’s creativity you can eat.

Local mixologists–Kat, Dunn, Trevor Schneider, Lynette Marrero, Greg Seider, and Paul Maloney–were shakin’ it all afternoon long.

Here’s a bit of background about FarmOn! Foundation.

It’s the brainchild of Tessa Edick.

She heads the non-profit organization and public charity that creates and funds youth educational programming and works to preserve family farming in America.

It’s a collaboration of professional farmers, educators, influencers, supporters, nutritionists, students, and community leaders invested in the future of local agriculture and supporting local economies.

So it’s easy to see that all this was for a very good cause.

Photo credit: Slow Films