The Safersteins recently drove to the quaint town of Stockton for a farm-to-table dinner at The Farm Cooking School. Our opinion in one word: GO!
THE FARM COOKING SCHOOL, STOCKTON
The Farm Cooking School at Tullamore Farms is a working, grass-fed cattle and lamb farm that offers daily cooking classes and events including farm-to-table dinners. Many of the ingredients used at the school come directly from their farm and other nearby farms.
The school is under the direction of founder and chef Ian Knauer and chef Shelley Wiseman. Knauer has worked in the test kitchens of Gourmet Magazine, is the author of The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food, and has a television show, called The Farm, which airs on PBS and Hulu. Wiseman who is also an author of two cookbooks was the travel food editor and a recipe developer at Gourmet.
The day of the dinner we received an e-mail telling us to park behind the red milk house, about ¼ mile down the lane and proceed to the stone farmhouse. Along with that note and driving on the bucolic country roads to Stockton, we felt a “little bit country.”
Upon arriving and driving down the dirt road, we saw goats in the fields, two silos, chickens, a garden and a beautiful stone house. The small kitchen has two fireplaces and is filled with cooking utensils, all adding to the ambiance. Two communal tables, which each seat 10, and one small table for three were decorated with flowers and candles. A small glass and a Mason jar were at each setting for the wine and water.
The following memorable menu was presented:
Garden Crudité with Dirt: a piece of black slate held a whimsical and beautiful presentation of ricotta, crunchy beets and sour dough bread (dirt), which served as a base for baby squash, greens, squash blossoms and baby cucumbers.
Fennel Tarte Tatin with Goat Cheese: This was a take on apple Tatin. The hint of anise from the fennel combined perfectly with the creamy goat cheese.
Raviolo Carbonara: A farm-fresh egg oozed from the raviolo, which was also filled with ricotta and topped with lardons and frizzled edible slivers of flowers. The pasta and ricotta were made in house. An absolute knockout, but we would have loved to have a piece of bread to mop up the sauce. None was served at this dinner.
Tullamore Steak with Herb Sauces and French Fries: Although flavorful, this 100 percent grass-fed steak was tough. The herb sauce, similar to a chimichurri sauce, was well executed.
Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta with Blueberries: This light, refreshing and colorful dessert had panna cotta infused with lemon verbena accompanied by blueberries and a verbena syrup. It was garnished with orange flowers and lemony wood sorrel, which echoed the flavors from the lemon verbena.
We were invited to take our desserts outside to watch the sunset and chat with the new friends that we met at the communal table.
Information about cooking classes, wine classes, events and dinners can be found at their website.
The Farm Cooking School
Actual address: 1998 Daniel Bray Highway (R 29), Stockton
Best GPS address: 1925 Daniel Bray Highway (Rt 29), Stockton
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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