There’s no doubt that spring finally sprung at Wakeman Town Farm with a cooking demo and three-course dinner from Marcia Selden Catering. It might have been a bit misty and grey outside, but each table was adorned with flowers, cocktails flowed into every glass, and some of the adorable goats, chickens, and ducks could be seen in the distance from the dining room, called “Tim’s Kitchen,” inside.
Chef Robin and her brother Jeffrey, quite obviously make Mama Selden proud as they turned a party into a full on tasty affair. Headquartered out of Stamford, they are surely doing something right as Robin leaned in to mention that they were planning for fifty events in the upcoming week. Well, I can now attest, the spread was light, delicious, and simply gorgeous. For a family business running for more than three decades, they kinda know what they’re doing.
While Jeffrey got the crowd going with a much-talk-about-of-late Aperol Spritz, Robin demonstrated numerous cooking tricks from getting the most freshness out of your veggies by “shocking” them to working with arborio rice for the most delicious risotto medallions. Herbs perfumed the air as she showed diners how to make a simple, yet full-flavored gremolata, the vibrant green sauce, that soon dressed our fish.
A bright pea and tomato soup with creme fraiche was poured from two spouts for dramatic and visual effect, and the sweetness from both peas and tomatoes were undeniable, you’d swear there was something else ramping up the flavor. We had a generous light and hearty sea bass with three kinds of tomatoes, and “shocked” green beans. Diners came up to Robin at the island in the kitchen to witness techniques, ask questions, and taste each step of the meal. In the interim, Jeffrey created a second cocktail, a cucumber martini, that was so light, you’d swear it really is good for you! If that is not enough, the third course, dessert, was a pavlova with berries that seemed to float away. There is nothing quite like having a meal that is so light and fresh that it feels indulgent. The indulgence came when Jeffrey finished the evening with his fun, final cocktail, The French Blond, complete with whipped egg whites, and a bruleed top.
Robin’s passion for cooking and Jeffrey’s party spirit and flair made the Wakeman Town Farm Spring Dinner, a real night to remember.
Wakeman Town Farm first came alive back in 1908, but was eventually given to the city in 1970. Over time, sports fields and a park were built, lots were used for gardens, and finally in 2009 the town reinvigorated the land and brought it back to life as a Farm and Sustainability Center. Today, with their tremendously talented, passionate staff, they can now boast daily events from school programs to adult talks and dinners to clubs, camps, and a blossoming CSA program. It is really a jewel in Westport’s history, something each town in our vibrant nook of New England should aspire to.
For more information on Wakeman Town Farm see www.wakemantownfarm.org or call 203.557.6914
And, to get in touch with Robin and Jeffrey from Marcia Selden Catering see www.marciaseldon.com or call 203.353.8000