Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blackbird Farm 4th Annual Farm-to-Chef Open House

On Monday, May 21, 2012 the Bouthillette Family held their 4th annual Farm-to-Chef Open House at Blackbird Farm located in Smithfield, Rhode Island.



The Farm-to Chef Open House for the past three years has been an event for culinary professionals, chefs and farmers, but this year the event was opened to the general public and I would estimate there were approximately 60 attendees to this years event.


The program started with welcome from Ann Marie Bouthillette and an introduction of her husband, sons and David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI.  We were then entertained and educated by Levi Geyer who did a USDA grading demonstration.  Levi is a USDA-Market News Supervisory Market Reporter for Pennsylvania and the Northeast.



Levi  both spoke about and demonstrated how Feeder Cattle are evaluated based on their age, frame, muscle thickness, flesh to determine their U.S. Quality Grades (prime, choice, select, standard and utility).  For a detailed description of how the Feeder Cattle are evaluated click here.  Blackbird Farm produces and sales only 100% high quality Black Angus Beef from high quality animals from superior stock.




We then moved onto the American Heritage Berkshire Pigs where Levi and Brandon Bouthillette spoke about the breed and how it is graded.  Brandon also spoke about why the family raises only this high quality heritage breed.  For more about American Heritage Berkshire Pigs, click here.





We then enjoyed a great lunch by Chef Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway.  Lunch consisted of:

SLOW-BRAISED BARBECUED BLACKBIRD FARM BEEF
GEER FARM CORN +BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
SCHATNER FARM ASPARAGUS, RADISHES + POTATOES

As well as

COWBOY BEANS
SOUTHERN MAC & CHEESE

from Chef Kaitlyn Roberts

After lunch Mr. Tom Burke, President of the American Angus Hall of Fame in Smithville, Missouri reinvigorated us with a tent revival presentation on the history of Black Angus Beef and why he, and the farm feel that it is a superior breed of beef,
Mr Ed Maltby, Manager of Adams Farm a USDA, USDA Natural and USDA Organic Certified, Halal, Kosher and Animal Welfare Certified harvesting plant spoke about how the Blackbird Farm cattle are only harvested at the Adams Farm plant and how the animals end their life cycle with the most human and ethical treatment possible,
The tour also included a walk in the fields to see the free range pigs and cattle as well as a tour of the Rhode Island Red chickens used for both meat and egg production.
This Farm-to-Chef Open House is just another example of how America is reaching back in time and embracing the small local farmer.  I hope this trend continues to both help the American economy and diet. 
Until I blog again:  Eat Well, Live Life, and Be Safe