MOUNTAIN VIEW —The 30th Annual Lavish Herbal Feast and Herb Harvest Fall Festival takes place October 3 to 5, 2019 at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. This year the Festival will celebrate the foods, folkways and herbs of the northern United States, north of historic U.S. Highway 40. The Heritage Herb Garden began a tour of herbal exploration all around the world in 2008 to portray how plants connect the Ozarks with planet Earth.
The event begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 with the Lavish Herbal Feast. Guests are advised to “dress your best’ in business casual or church attire. The evening opens with a garden party reception, sponsored and produced by the Herb Society of America Ozark Unit. Libations, cheeses and fruits famous in the northern states will be served. The party will proceed to the Skillet Restaurant after a polka dance with live music by Woodsong.
This year the Lavish Herbal Feast and symposium lunches feature flavors of the Northern United States from coast to coast. Susan Belsinger and the Skillet’s kitchen staff, led by Chef Bobby Switzer, are completing plans for executing the menus. The dishes are prepared from scratch in the Skillet from recipes researched and tested by Susan Belsinger—and are created to be an extraordinary sensory experience. The following are excerpts of planning conversation between Ms. Belsinger and Chef Switzer:
Switzer: “” Is parmesan an acceptable substitute for pecorino cheese?”
Belsinger: “Yes as long as it is a real parmesan (not Kraft or some other dried-out, not real cheese out of a container). Is this for the mushroom potpie?
Switzer: “Yes, it is for the mushroom potpie and the potato corn chowder with bay leaves. Real parmesan it is unless we can find some pecorino for about the same price.”
Switzer: “Can we substitute some green onion for leeks?”
Belsinger: “It would be good to have at least some leeks; use some yellow onion rather than green onion. if you sauté the leeks with the onions their flavors will meld. Fresh shiitake and maybe some chanterelles or oyster mushrooms, a few dried morels or porcini would add big flavor.”
Switzer: “I’ll get two or three different kinds of mushrooms to put into the recipe. We still have some dried wild mushrooms from a past herb feast, which we can add to help develop a bigger flavor.”
Switzer: “We are missing a page from the Boston cream pie recipe. It will have the recipes for the vanilla pastry cream and chocolate ganache.”
Belsinger: “I am sending a file that I was using for research--it has a recipe so you can get an idea of ingredients and the process—feel free to use it or another if you have one—the custard has to be real, no pudding mix.”
Switzer: “Real custard, Check! I’ll read over the recipe you have provided to get an idea of the process and what’s going to be needed. Until you can get the other recipe to me.”
Switzer: “In the Waldorf salad, do you prefer to use mayo or yogurt? Walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts?”
Belsinger: “I am attaching my recipe for Waldorf salad. We are using hazelnuts and cranberries in the wild rice so let us use walnuts and currants or dried cherries in the salad. This will be on the table on a little plate--served at cool room temperature.”
Switzer: “No problem, I’ll put the cherries and walnuts on the list to be ordered, I will use half mayo, half yogurt, and will not add the nuts until just before service.”
Belsinger: “Can you tell me what herb are used on the Skillet’s salmon please? We will probably need the recipe for the event’s proceedings. Or is it secret?”
Switzer: “The salmon is no secret. The way we cook it is with a little olive oil, season it with coarse salt and pepper, grill it until done and top it with a dollop of our herb butter, which is made from real butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.”
Lavish Herbal Feast Menu
~ Waldorf Salad
~ New England-Style Clam Chowder
~ Sour Dough Bread with Cranberry Butter
Entrée choices (choose one):
~ Grilled Salmon with Herb Butter OR
~ Mushroom & Leek Pot Pie
~ Wild Rice with Dried Berries, Hazelnuts, Alliums & Thyme
~ Oven-Baked Brussels Sprouts & Carrots with Horseradish Cream
~ Hazelnut Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
~Coffee & Iced Tea
Preregistration is required. The cost is $32.50 and early registration is advised. Register online at https://ozarkfolkcenter.ticketleap.com/
The mission of Ozark Folk Center State Park is to perpetuate, present and promote the Ozark way of life in an educational and enjoyable manner; through craft demonstrations, musical programs, the Heritage Herb Garden, workshops and other special events.