Plow to Plate treats go quickly from hand to mouth

CDT photo

The smoked salmon tostada disappeared from Sofia and Carmen Micci’s plates almost as quickly as it was served to them.

Sofia, 9, and Carmen, 12, said they were excited to eat one of their favorite dishes.

The Miccis were two of the dozens attending the Boalsburg Farmers Market’s third annual Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner. Jim Eisenstein, the community outreach coordinator for the market, said the event Wednesday evening was a way to celebrate this year’s harvest and to say thank you to local people who support local farmers. Proceeds supported school gardens at the State College Area School District.

“We’ve had a beautiful harvest around here in this agricultural paradise, and we want thank our customers and give an opportunity to local chefs to display their skills,” Eisenstein said.

Local chefs like Jeremiah McClenahan, of Fasta and Ravioli, and Larry Hooper and Tony Sapia, of Gemelli Bakers, prepared dishes in the kitchen of Mount Nittany Winery as guests arrived.

They said they got most of their ingredients from the farmers market Tuesday.

“I got about everything there,” McClenahan said. “I got beef and veal from Stone Meadow Farm. I got vegetables, peppers and onions from Tamarack Farm.”

Hooper cooked wood-fired pizza for Sapia, who had the idea to begin Plow to Plate more than three years ago.

“It’s very exciting to work around and with great local chefs,” Sapia said. “It’s the third, and it’s like a child. You want to see it grow. My goal is to have 200 people come one day.”

Eisenstein said 60 people attended last year and that he expected more this year.

Janice and Sarah Crow, of State College, said this was the first time they came to Plow to Plate. Sarah Crow said she wants to go to the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif., after she graduates from Penn State.

“I didn’t think I would want to be a chef, but it makes some sense because I wanted to help my mom cook since I was 2,” Sarah Crow said. “I love to cook, and when I read in the paper this was happening, it seemed very interesting.”

Guests like Danni Lee and Glenda Womer, who each came alone, said it’s easy to make connections with people at events like Plow to Plate. They met as they waited in line to be served by McClenahan.

“It’s very relaxing and really a nice way to see some people you know and meet some new people,” Womer, of State College, said.

“And who doesn’t like great wine?” Lee, of Curwensville, said.

“And great food,” Womer said.