Dinner at Bradley Farm – From the Other Side of the Kitchen Door

Tomato Season at Bradley Farm

This past Sunday Brad and I drove up to New Paltz again for the 3rd and final of Ray Bradley’s inaugural farm-to-table dinner series. You can read about our experience last month as guests at the table, however this time around we took a turn and lent some hands in the back of the house.

As I’ve mentioned before, Ray’s cooking is simple and straightforward, but it’s the layering of flavors and composition of the dishes that makes his food so special. I was excited to be welcome in a kitchen full of pros to see the magic for myself.

Brad managed to join me in serving, clearing, and occasionally assisting in bits of plating and garnishing, with a camera slung around his neck. So I think I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story. But first, here’s the menu:

Bradley Farm Sunday Dinner, August 14, 2011

  • Passed Hors d’œuvres and Homemade Brew
  • 
Tomatoes Stuffed with Lobster Salad
  • Tomato Gazpacho
  • Seared Tuna Belly on Braised Dandelion and Radicchio
 with Lobster Sauce and Husk Tomatoes
  • Wood-charcoal Grilled Pork Butt, thin sliced, with Cheddar Cheese Pierogies made with Carola potatoes,
 and Stuffed Patty Pans
  • Three-variety Heirloom Tomato Salad
  • Peach Pecan Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream and Hyssop

The beers were made by our good Brooklyn friends Kurt and Sandra, and the wines were paired by Kevin Zraly (recent recipient of a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award), so hard work was rewarded by both eating and and drinking well.

Otherwise known as Pull Brewery
Stuffing Tomatoes
That would be roasted tomato and garlic scape pesto
Lobster Salad Stuffed Heriloom Tomatoes
Gazpacho! with creme fraiche and chives
Preparing the Tuna Belly
Scattering husk tomatoes - I was told odd numbers are best
Completing the dish
Hot pork coming through!
Perfect pig butt
The plate debate
I want some of those pierogies right now
That would be the Wood-charcoal Grilled Pork Butt, sliced
Make room in your belly for course number 4
The plan
Those would be the German Greens
Ray, and so many of his heirloom tomatoes
Brad, working the grinder – 'only 1 turn'
The best show of tomatoes
A whole lotta Peach Pecan Crisp
Hyssop on ice cream on crisp
I carried a lot of dishes in and out of the kitchen

A few of us stuck around when the work was done, enjoying beer, conversation, and eventually some seriously delicious seconds until well after the sun went down. Ray, thanks for a great day.

Ray advised me to wear my rubber boots

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