BLACK­BERRY FARM, TEN­NESSEE

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Indulgence -

Black­berry Farm stands on lands that sus­tained the Chero­kee and early Ap­palachi­ans; now, it pro­vides for the re­sort’s for­ager, live­stock team, cheese­maker and preser­va­tion­ist, who, to­gether with its team of chefs, cre­ate what it calls ‘Foothills Cui­sine’. This re­fined, el­e­vated take on south­ern sta­ples has equal foot­ing in haute cui­sine and in­dige­nous Great Smoky Moun­tains her­itage foods, and is so cen­tral to the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that it’s trade­marked.

“‘Foothills Cui­sine’ has been part of the ter­mi­nol­ogy at the farm for a long time. Each chef who has taken the helm gets to in­ter­pret what it means to them,” says Cas­sidee Dab­ney, ex­ec­u­tive chef at The Barn at Black­berry Farm, an iconic, red-walled struc­ture at the heart of the 4,200-acre prop­erty.

In spring, she cooks with in­gre­di­ents that yield bright flavours, such as young gar­lic, sweet onions and straw­ber­ries, be­fore for­ag­ing for chanterelles in July. In au­tumn, squashes, sweet pota­toes and Brus­sels sprouts abound, and once win­ter rolls around, the team gets busy pick­ling and pre­serv­ing to stretch the farm’s flavours across all sea­sons.

“There are coves in the moun­tains that keep the ge­netic di­ver­sity high for for­aged and cul­ti­vated prod­ucts, and im­mi­grants who have moved to this area over gen­er­a­tions have con­trib­uted a wealth of va­ri­ety to the pro­duce we have ac­cess to,” Dab­ney adds.

The farm makes its own beer and sea­sonal cheeses, and runs tast­ings and classes in both. You can also taste some of the cel­lar’s 160,000 wines, dive into the South’s lauded whisky tra­di­tions with a bev­er­age pro­fes­sional, and sign up for archery, clay shoot­ing, cy­cling or wake­board­ing.

In par­al­lel with its on-site culi­nary pro­gramme, the farm wel­comes ex­ter­nal chefs, such as Noma founder and cham­pion of the New Nordic move­ment René Redzepi. It also of­fers ex­ten­sive year-round pro­gram­ming — think con­certs by South­ern coun­try su­per­star Emmylou Har­ris in res­i­dence and beauty sem­i­nars with or­ganic cos­met­ics en­tre­pre­neur Tata Harper — so guests can time their vis­its to ar­eas of per­sonal in­ter­est.

Ten­nessee was the first state to pro­duce cul­ti­vate Amer­i­can truf­fles, and one of the most pop­u­lar an­nual fix­tures is Fe­bru­ary’s truf­fle hunt. Bor­row one of the farm’s fa­mous truf­fle­hunt­ing Lagotto Ro­mag­nolo dogs for a week of demon­stra­tions in a nearby or­chard, then set­tle down for an ol­fac­tory, fun­gus-for­ward feast.

“Each course is im­por­tant, con­vey­ing some­thing in­di­vid­u­ally;

this is the mo­ment when some­thing can be re­ally small, but you can pack some­thing im­pact­ful into one or two bites.”

— Kyle Con­naughton

KYLE AND KATINA CON­NAUGHTON ARE FARM­ERS, CHEFS ANDHOSTS AT SIN­GLETHREAD FARMS, WHICH OF­FERSFINE JA­PANESE FARE IN CAL­I­FOR­NIAN WINE COUN­TRY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.