Last night, we were fortunate enough to travel upstate to Katchkie Farm, the beautiful organic farm that the Great Performances catering company operates in Kinderhook, New York. The occasion was a dinner cooked in collaboration between Laurent Gras and six Great Performances chefs including Robb Garceau, who recently left Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events to head the GP kitchen.
Gras talks to the guests about the food they’re eating.
The dinner, which was attended by some 40 guests, featured ingredients grown on the farm and in the surrounding area. Neighboring Roxbury Farm supplied the lamb for the rack of lamb with plum chutney and roasted lamb shoulder with cucumber and mint, while Samascott Orchards’ peaches made it into both a peach and green bean salad with feta and the grilled stone fruit with whipped crème fraîche that was served for dessert. Bread came from Hudson’s Café La Perche, and Max Creek Hatchery supplied the very fine trout that was grilled with Ronnybrook Farm brown butter.
Gras, who late last year relocated to New York from Chicago, where he won three Michelin stars for his cooking at L2O, told us he’s planning to open his reportedly “more casual” restaurant sometime next year, and is interested in finding a space on the West Side below 23rd Street. If last night’s meal was any indication, his new place should be a hit.
What follows are some photos from the dinner, which was served under almost comically clear skies that gave no indication of the devastation suffered by farms in the neighboring Catskills region.
The team of chefs began preparing dinner in the very early afternoon.
Gras made short work of some green tomatoes; watching him portion them into whisper-thin slices was strangely hypnotic.
Bowls of pickled vegetables and cherry tomatoes graced every table.
Grilled corn succotash featured lots of sweet red peppers and fragrant black garlic, while lettuce leaves were dressed with an onion-thyme vinaigrette.
A tomato salad came blanketed with goat cheese and shot through with baby zucchini.
The chefs all take a bow. Robb Garceau, Great Performances’ new executive chef, stands second from right.
Dessert included a fantastic blueberry pie, grilled stone fruit, a watermelon salad with jalapeño syrup and mint, and plenty of whipped cream.
Dinner ended with a surreally perfect sunset.
A cat, a mouse, and a blue sky