When Jorge Guzman and Daniel Klein met and started talking food, it was clear they were chefs cut from the same sustainable cloth. Klein has produced two seasons of the successful web series Perennial Plate alongside partner Mirra Fine. The Perennial Plate explores the world of local, sustainable eating. Their first season was set entirely in Minnesota. Season two, which just wrapped, was spent traveling around the country meeting with other local food advocates.
Guzman is the executive chef at Solera, where guests might not always be aware that their food is largely local and sustainably raised. He is passionate about serving guests great meals while supporting our area producers. Annually, he hosts Farm in the Cities, a fundraiser and dinner to educate the public about eating locally.
The two decided to team up recently and throw a party, and it was a tasty endeavor.
The party began hours earlier with a pig that was gently cooked atop a bed of coals. As guests gathered, Fulton Beer was on hand to serve its Sweet Child O' Vine. The brew poured slowly, filtered through pineapple and fresh hops, punching up the already floral, fruity flavors.
Held atop Solera, the rooftop was bathed in early evening sun, kept cool by a crisp, light breeze.
Side dishes included fingerling potatoes with beluga lentils, beets with purple cabbage and
dill, tons of fresh baby greens, and a zesty radish and barley dish. Those who eschew meat, such as Fine, who has been a vegetarian since the first episode of Perennial Plate -- which involved a turkey and a startling up-close encounter on what it means to eat meat, were amply satisfied.
Chef Guzman thinly sliced the pork shoulders for guests. Later in the evening, they auctioned off the cheeks, garnering another $50 for the nights beneficiary, the Youth Farm Project.
After the cheeks were happily delivered, the belly made an appearance, stuffed porchetta-style and full of succulent fat.
As the sun began to wane, episodes of the Perennial Plate were screened for the happily satiated guests, all toasting a wonderfully successful evening celebrating the glory of local food.