Farm & Garden

Farm to Fork– Eat Where The Food Is

September 20 2012 - 10:26 PM

Food culture is changing.  The fact that food is a culture is a change.  People want to know “Where does my food come from?”, “Is this organic?”, “Are these in season?”.  Farm dinners have been a popular way to celebrate food in it’s natural setting for the last few years.  However, rarely does a farm dinner also highlight the educational aspect of why eating organically and locally are so very important.  And rarely does a farm dinner come from  Top Chef contestant Valerie Bolon, whose local credits include Gordon, MK, and Hot Chocolate,  and who is bringing the Farm to Fork menu to life on a property just outside of her hometown.  Red Frog Events, The Conservation Foundation, and The Green Earth Institute (the latter two working in partnership as the chief operational managers of McDonald Farm in Naperville);  are coming together to produce one of the season’s most anticipated events; the first ever Farm to Fork Dinner.

Although farm dinners have been popular of late, the vast majority of people will tell you that these type of dinners, although usually interesting and fun, are typically out of the average person’s price range.  Dinners can be upwards of $200-$250 per person which at that price could deter many people from this experience.  And sometimes, the food being served is in fact not locally sourced, taking away the essence of a farm dinner.  Farm to Fork has switched things up.  With their truest intention, Red Frog Events wants  to make this event accessible to everyone, and it is with that goal that they hope to reach success.  Voted the 9th fastest growing company in the country by Inc. magazine, Red Frog takes on a new role this month by organizing the farm event.   Tyler Bradley, event director, wants people to know that Farm to Fork intends to be a “educational and fine dining experience” noting that The Green Earth Institute and The Conservation Foundation (both non-for profits) will be taking diners on a tour of the farm before dinner begins.  Guests will have a first-hand look at the historical property while learning about it’s green-minded practices.  Purveyors along with Bolon,  will also be on hand discussing the food and their accompanying beverages throughout the evening.   Traverse City Michigan’s Chateau Chantal is providing the evening’s wine pairings which will show off a  variety of characteristics for each course.  Perhaps even better, Two Brothers Brewing Company from Warrenville, IL is brewing a special beer solely for the dinner called “Farm to Fork Pale Ale”.  Six courses of gourmet yet home-style fare will be offered throughout the night starting with an amuse bushe and apertif to get you appropriately settled in for the evening ahead.

McDonald Farm, the setting for the evening,  has been unscathed by the countless offers to purchase the land since it’s creation in the 1830’s.   Mrs. McDonald, the farm’s last owner,  turned the property over to The Green Earth Institute and The Conservation Foundation in order to preserve the land indefinitely.  By ensuring the farm would institute educational outreach while implementing the practices of organic and sustainable farming, McDonald Farm has maintained it’s rich history.  Committed to the philosophy that the land and the food it grows on is in fact important and that people should have access to this knowledge, Farm to Fork’s menu will emulate the land’s rich traditions while celebrating and preserving it’s spirit.

Farm to Fork takes place September 22 on McDonald Farm in Naperville, IL.   Prices are impressive compared to other farm dinners at $95 per person.  An alcohol pairing is offered at an additional $35 while non-alcoholic pairings are also an option.  For more information please visit:  You can find directions on how to make reservation via their “FAQ” page.