By Sarah Mausert
At the beginning of May, I went to the Eve of the Eighth dinner hosted by the Blind Pig Supper Club. It was a release party for the details about October’s upcoming Terra Vita Food and Drink Festival. In case you missed my previous posts about these events, it’s Terra Vita’s 8th anniversary this year so the theme of the Blind Pig dinner was eight. Eight chefs presented eight dishes in which the number eight was in some way visually present on the plate.
I’d like to give a shout out the servers. I was really impressed with the service. It’s difficult to get a lot of plates out to a lot of people almost simultaneously but this was accomplished very well during the dinner. I never caught myself staring longingly at someone else’s plate whilst being hyperaware of the empty space in front of me. All the members of the service staff were friendly and helpful. Guests were instructed to bring their own wine or beer and I wasn’t far in the door before I was asked if I needed my wine opened. In my case, Poizin has a screw top. Side note: Poizin from Sonoma County is a pretty tasty Zinfandel if you get a chance to try it; I’m usually a cab sav kinda girl but this zin hit the spot for me. But, bottom line, the service was great throughout the meal.
The dinner was held at HQ Raleigh in downtown Raleigh near The Pit. The main space is beautiful with brick walls and exposed beams, but it did get pretty loud when all the guests were talking. The tables were set beautifully but there were some empty spaces at the tables. Where were you all? I told you to come!
I really enjoyed how the theme played into the dishes and the creativity of the chefs using the theme in different ways. The full menu is at the end of this post. Dean Neff and Mike Moore shared a plate for their two courses, each forming an abstract number eight on the plate. Mike Moore’s dish of Spruce Cured & Cold Smoked Mountain Trout, salt roasted Yukon potato, fresh buttermilk crema, spring peas & morels with trout caviar is on the left. On the right is Dean Neff’s Infinite Trees, Rivers & Oceans of North Carolina-bay and pine smoked ILM black sea bass with borage, radish, avocado, loquat, and Green Goddess.
One of my favorite dishes what Steve Goff’s NC Sweet Potato Eight Ways-country pork pâté, mustard greens, sweet potato fermented, fried, kimchi, quickpickle, mustard, vinaigrette, ashe, and roasted. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great picture of this to share.
To end the meal, Phoebe Lawless presented Eight is Enough Crepe Cake: eight layers of olive oil crepes, white chocolate ricotta cream with Campari strawberries. The cake was delicious and creamy but what I really remember was the black pepper on the strawberries which added a nice spice to the dessert.
If you get a chance to attend a Blind Pig Supper, I highly recommend it. The dishes were all creative and delicious and I got to try some things I’d never had before. Check out their website to find out more information; they’re also on Facebook.
Author: Sarah was born a yankee, but has been a Durhamite for ten years now. She enjoys red wine, bourbon, her dogs, Captain and Morgan, and her cats, Johnny and Walker.