The Birdhouse Market feast at Sub Rosa is going to be awesome, and here's why...

With summer in full swing, farmers market tables, like the ones at the Birdhouse Farmers Market every Tuesday afternoon, are brimming with juicy tomatoes, bright berries, crisp cucumbers, and leafy greens. Summer squash and eggplant are popping up more and more, and now is the perfect time for a proper summer feast with these glorious Earth-born goodies taking center stage.

On Sunday, July 10th, Sub Rosa will host a four-course dinner to benefit The Birdhouse Farmers Market with Sub Rosa owners Evrim and Evin Dogu joined in the kitchen by Autumn Campbell and Brian Garretson of Tomten Farm and Paul Winston of Dutch & Co. (Get Tickets)

“Simply put, Sub Rosa was born at the Byrd House Market,” says Evrim Dogu. “Without that market we would not have developed the relationships with farmers/vendors nor created the dedicated following that allowed us to expand into a brick and mortar storefront that deals directly with producers for most of our ingredients.”

When Amy Hicks of Amy's Garden suggested the dinner to fellow farmer Autumn Campbell, Autumn knew the idea had serious legs and that Sub Rosa would be a great venue. Evrim and Evin’s instant support gave the concept the foundation it needed to move forward.

“The feast will focus on using the vast majority of its ingredients-- produce, meats, cheeses and other items -- directly from vendors at the Birdhouse Market,” says Dogu. “The purpose of this is twofold: first, it obviously allows us to showcase the variety and excellence of these ingredients and second, it gives people an idea of what they can do at home with access to said bounty.”

Campbell points out that this feast will be unique in several ways. First, seasonal vegetables will be the centerpiece of the menu, with animal-based proteins playing a back-up (though no less delicious) role. Also, four out of the five people cooking the dinner aren’t Chefs-with-a-capital-C. They’re farmers and bakers.

And the chef? That’s Dutch & Co chef de cuisine Paul Winston who says he formed relationships with Tomten Farm and Sub Rosa Bakery as producers who supply produce and bread to the restaurant and those the relationship developed into friendships with food at their core: “I’ve always wanted to do something with them that wasn’t necessarily work related,” says Winston.

Of the four courses planned for that Sunday, Winston seems the most excited about a terrine made with Tomten’s chicken and duck, a slow-braised amalgam of poultry, shallots, hazelnuts, and herbs. The meal will start with a sort of world tour of pickles--everything from beets and green beans to a take on kimchee and a kind of japanese pickle. Those will be served alongside Winston’s terrine.

A ‘stuffed’ course will showcase cabbage stuffed with bulgur as well as puff pastry parcels stuffed with a Haashrooms mushroom duxelle and Sullivan’s Pond goat cheese, a collaboration between Winston, Campbell, and Evin Dogu. As the meal progresses, things get fiery in a very literal way: Evrim will stoke a fire in their oven where Winston will cook an assortment of vegetables like beets and carrots directly on the coals, eventually peeling away the ash and dressing them with a bright, citrusy vinaigrette. Dessert will highlight the perfection of a summer-ripe berry with two offerings: a traditional flan with a berry sauce as well as Evin’s corn tart with blackberries.

What are you going to drink? How about biodynamic wine from Native Selections, beer from Ardent Craft Ale, and crisp apple cider from Potter’s? Each course will be paired with the beverage that suits it best.

Ok, so it’s time for some real talk now: These benefit dinners, they crop up (PUN ALERT!) pretty often these days. It seems like every weekend there’s an opportunity to plunk down a chunk of change and loosen your belt in the name of a good cause. Great, awesome; I love causes and dinners! But this dinner, THIS DINNER, is going to be special. With this collection of cooks, this bounty of produce, and 100% (that’s ALL if you’re not good at math) of the proceeds going directly to the only truly urban, truly community-driven market in this city. In short, this dinner is THE WINNINGEST OF WINS, and I hope to see you all there.