Next came "Trout 2 Ways," with Chef Reed VanDenBerghe preparing trout amandine and a trout-with-trout-caviar dish bathed in light, bright yellow sauce (was it saffron? curry-kissed?) you could have sipped as its own soup.
Chef Stephen Gustard followed that with a delicious smoked strip steak with melt-in-your-mouth sweet corn pudding and more grilled veggies with a balsamic reduction. Then "The Crazy Baker" Hal Hitzig made a barely-sweet strawberry shortbread with almonds, creme fraiche and basil sauce that provided a nice cap to the night.
Assorted breads were provided by master baker Jeff Kessler and wines for each course — including a crisp Italian sparkler, a citrusy fume and a wonderfully dry rose — were provided by Capitol Market.
One of the leaders in the farm-to-table movement and definitely first in my heart . . .
Happy Birthday Eve, West Virginia!
After last week's column on out-of-the-box potato salad recipes, reader Phala Shafer wrote in with her unique take on substituting cauliflower for a healthier and more interesting dish.
"I always read your food articles and love them! Here is an alternative to using potatoes in a potato salad," she said.
"Cook a head of cauliflower until tender. Drain all excess water and place on paper towels until it is cool. Be sure all moisture has been removed."
Then you just cut it up and mix with the same ingredients that you would use in your traditional potato salad.
"Less starch and pretty darn good!"
Contact writer Steven Keith at dailymailfood...@aol.com or 304-348-1721. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail FoodGuy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.dailymail.com/foodguy/.