Thursday, August 26, 2010

Castlegarth Heirloom Tomato Tasting

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

It simply got busy here. Weddings. Summer shing-dings. Kids camps. Classes.

I promise to keep you all updated from now on. Promise.

We spent a beautiful evening in the company of Chef Matthew Brearley of Castlegarth restaurant. I have to admit that one of the perks of working here is meeting some extraordinary people, getting to see all the behind the scenes, the preparation and the satisfaction of watching an evening unfold. The misshaps. The surprises. The oh-so-perfect moments and the very memorable ones.

The tomato tasting fell into the last category. The colors. The taste. The beauty.

Chef Brearley took the time to present each course, talk about the specific variety of tomato and guided the tasting. Melon. Earth. Berry. Red wine. Pepper.

All these beauties (more than 80 varietals now!) are grown on a farm land next to the restaurant. From seed. Vulnerable to our weather, sometimes imperfect, sometimes overflowing and gorgeous. Feeling the weight of them in your hands, seeing how the flesh is perfect, not grainy, and so full of flavor.

Chef Brearley admitted to not loving tomatoes as he was younger - he simplyhad not yet tasted good ones. John Taylor was apparently the one that made him change his views on the fruit some years ago...

Delicious cod cheeks floating in a golden tomato dream.

Peach & scallop carpaccio, tomatoes and local hemp oil.

THE tomato tasting plate. Matthew stayed with our guests until they all finished their plates, asking what they thought they were tasting, talking about how they grow, knowing each of them by name.

I missed the last two courses in pictures... but we had wonderful homemade sausage as well as melting pork belly. And dessert? Cannoli with tiny bit of tomato in a creamy luscious disguise.