Hustling through the kitchen door with dinner plates in hand, one of the team members stops dead in her tracks when she hears me shout,
"Wait! Get back here! That plate does not have parsley or pepper on it!"
I quickly grab a sprig of parsley to strategically place it next t the main entree and crack fresh ground pepper around the white edge of the plate. In the cafe we worked at in Australia, everything got a quick sprinkling of fresh ground pepper on it as I clearly remembered our cook yelling out after me if I grabbed a plate too quickly, "Get back in the kitchen now!" I didn't think too much of it at the time, other than I was damm well sure I didn't take a plate out before it had pepper on it, but now as managers, cooks and Inn Keepers at Seyon Lodge, I am keenly aware of how each plate looks when we serve it to our guest. In my role I've had a chance to learn more about organizations like Vermont Fresh Networks, Black River Produce, our own organic garden and shopping practices.
Here is just a quick glimpse into some scenes of gathering and serving food at Seyon this season:
First we start by seeing what we can harvest from our own garden.
And boy has it been a good year for beans.
People still get lost in the garden sometimes. Seriously, aside from both Kate and Stella being hidden in this photo, this past week I was in the kitchen and a guest called me away to the desk. Little did I know Hillary, whom just went to harvest kale, was standing knee high in vegetables yelling, "Tiff! Tiff! I can't find the kale!" She eventually found the kale.
Kate trying to pretend she wasn't hiding in the corn patch.
We did get some lovely garlic.
Sitting next to lavender, starting from left to right is a bowl of rainbow swiss chard, kale, carrots and peas.
Then it is time to prepare everything and serve it to our guest.
Sometimes our guests request bag lunches.
Especially if we know far enough in advance, we will decorate their bags for them.
In most cases, we will set the table and serve them there.
Often with groups, we serve the meal family style.
As long as it's not down pouring, we get to make wood fired pizzas. The awesome staff from last year built this wood fired pizza oven and it's been a huge hit.
Here we have Blythesdale Farm Brie.
VT Butter and Cheese Co. Herbed Chevre.
Smoked Grafton cheddar slices decorated with herbs from the garden.
We called this a small plate night where our guest special requested a tapas style evening spread.
We are fortunate to get such lovely guest here.
And one of our favorite parts is to feed them dessert.
That's me being really excited to serve our fresh fruit dessert martinis.
In the back ground with her hand on her hip is Donna, carefully inspecting the length of each cherry stem.
We also love to serve fresh baked brownie sundaes with homemade ice cream, fresh fruit, grandmothers hot fudge garnished with mint leaves from the garden.
So rich and sweet, the chocolate stout cake is another one of our favorites.
And just because it's pretty, this last photo is from a recent wedding down by the pond.
The ability to both purchase and make healthy food is not to be taken for granted nor exist everywhere in the world. One of the reasons I love living in Vermont is because of organizations like Vermont Fresh Food Networks that are so strong and help make it easy for me as a consumer to feel my dollars are going to businesses I want to support. When it comes down to the food I try to both eat and serve there are really two questions: 1.) Do I know the farmer, and, 2.) Does it have fresh cracked pepper on it?
Which farmer are you going to support for your next meal?