The second-annual world’s greatest feast in a field—featuring a dozen Seattle chefs cooking whole beasts over hot coals—happened yesterday.
It only rained a little, and the carnivores' spirits were undampened. A sell-out crowd of 450 people attended, a smashing success for Smoke Farm (the nonprofit haven for artists, philosophers, and other oddballs an hour north of Seattle that was both the site of and the beneficiary of the event).
Eighteen hundred oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms were grilled, shucked, and eaten. There was more meat that you could shake a stick at, and the main complaint was a happy one: too much food. People were getting full before they'd sampled even half of the burnt beasts available, and there was no vomitorium. As soon-to-be Top Chef competitor Robin Leventhal—who was moonlighting for the oyster prep team and Team Vegetable—said, "When people complained that my portions were too big at Crave, I always said that if that's what their complaint is, that’s not a bad thing…"
Seth Caswell's team spit-roasted a pig; Caswell claimed the woven copper reflector was the pig's alien communicator, but someone else said it was just scrap metal from somebody's garage. In any case, style points. Elsewhere, organizer Tamara Murphy (Brasa, Elliott Bay Cafe) unearthed another pig she'd cooked Hawaiian-style (having gotten up at 3 a.m. to bury it).
More after the jump...
Photos by Duncan Smith.
Team Beef—Tyson Danilson (Le Pichet, pictured with shovel) and Monica Dimas (Spinasse)—had a nice banner and an asado-style vertical spit system inspired by Argentine gauchos (dudes who know their meat).
Gabriel Claycamp rolling his own flatbread. The back of the Swinery's T-shirts say "EVERYONE WANTS OUR MEAT IN THEIR MOUTHS." Stay classy, Gabe!
Garret Abel's (of DeLaurenti) rabbits were suspended four at a time over four separate fires. The rabbit-meat and -liver bahn mi that resulted was one of the best things to eat ever—but then so was the duck bahn mi made by Team Art of the Table.
Seattle poet Arnie Pihl made the sacrificial beast-pyre (with Tamara Murphy, above) out of Smoke Farm scrap wood. (Its testicles—two stuffed paper bags—were reportedly added by Gabriel Claycamp.) It was burned unceremonially after dinner to all attendants' glee. Bands played, badminton was played, whiskey went around the fire, and there was dancing. All in all, a hell of a good time.
All photos by Duncan Smith.