Of Sheep and Chefs: A Summer Dinner at Green Dirt Farm
The popular sheep farm hosts chef Matt Arnold of Webster House as part of its Farm Table Dinner series
Green Dirt Farm
The award-wining Green Dirt Farm in Weston, Missouri, produces 100 percent grass-fed lamb and sheep and some of the finest artisanal sheep’s milk cheeses and yogurts on the market. Public tours of this idyllic farm with 150 acres of green pastures and meandering streams are rare, but every summer/fall for the past seven years owner Sarah Hoffmann and Jacqueline Smith have opened up their organic, community-based farm to a series of delicious Farm Table Dinners. These special feasts highlight the farm’s Missouri-grown products like their whole lambs and popular cheeses, including Dirt Lover (styled after classic ash-dusted French farmhouse cheeses which becomes more earthy and buttery as they age), fresh rosemary, or the Camembert-like Woolly Rind, as well as the creative talents of Kansas City’s top chefs. Green Dirt Farm even hosted roaming epicure Anthony Bourdain during the KC episode of his former TV show No Reservations.
This season’s Farm Table Dinners, hosted on weekends through Oct. 17, feature chefs from Room 39, The Farmhouse, The Local Pig, Webster House, Affäre, Café Provence, Port Fonda, Bluestem and Rye, The Rieger Hotel, Grill & Exchange and The River Club. Guests are treated to a pastoral visit to the farm, a sampling of Green Dirt Farm cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, a seasonal cocktail and a reception with the local chef, followed by a four-course dinner for 30 at a single harvest table in the covered barn. The experience is the ultimate farm-to-table repast.
For the Webster House dinner with executive chef Matt Arnold on June 28, 435 Magazine tagged along to document the lamb-centric, seasonal menu and on-the-farm merriment. Arnold worked at the iconic Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina, under James Beard winning chefs Ben and Karen Barker, as well as several years as executive chef at Lidia’s Kansas City, so he knows how to pull off polished, farm-sourced food that combines the rustic and refined. Chef Arnold was particularly inspired by the bounty of Green Dirt Farm, stating, “ I get so excited by what they do. They do everything by hand and hard work. It is a local farm, a community farm. They are all about the land and the food. They tell a story about the processes and are all about the terrain, the seasons and what Mother Nature dictates.” Likewise, Arnold always tries “to cook with that which surrounds us. The farms and our kitchen dictated what we used on the menu. We always try to keep it local whenever and however possible…and Green Dirt Farm is a pure Missouri product…it is about as pure as it gets!”
This year’s Farm Table Dinners are sold out, but log on next spring for the announcement of the 2016 series of dinners. Green Dirt Farm also hosts several Cheese Appreciation events with an afternoon tasting of the farm’s cheeses in the covered barn and the products of another local artisan highlighted, from bread to jam to craft beer makers. There are a few dates not yet sold out. For more information visit greendirtfarm.com/tastings. For general information about the farm and its award-winning products and where to procure them visit greendirtfarm.com.
Farm Table Dinner with Chef Matt Arnold of Webster House at Green Dirt Farm, June 28, 2015
Green Dirt Farm fresh rosemary cheese on Farm to Market baguette with honey
Peach Bellini with Missouri peaches and prosecco
Liver paté three ways with lamb heart:
Balsamic, Rieger Whiskey and Creole mustard, curry and raisin, chick peas with red chili “linguine”
Scarpetta Timido sparkling rosé
Romaine, Burgers’ country ham, Prairie tome, Blackstrap molasses, Green Dirt Farm yogurt dressing, herbed croutons
Pazo de Galegos Albarino
Honey and Szechuan pepper-glazed saddle of lamb:
Eggplant, olives, blush tomatoes with Green Goddess olive oil ragu and preserved lemon
Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato
Braised leg of lamb on dripping toast:
Dates, horseradish, garlicky beet greens, roasted onion relish, rosemary jus
Lamadrid Reserva Malbec
Spiced Peach Parfait:
Only Ewe yogurt, candied walnuts
Elio Perrone Sourgal Moscato d’Asti