When I was a kid, my mom and dad always encouraged me to try new foods. While my mom’s taste weren’t quite as broad as my dad’s, she still encouraged me to keep an open mind when it came to foods I wasn’t familiar with. So I have.
Over the course of my life, I’ve tried some foods that some people would wrinkle their noses at, but for me, they’ve all been culinary experiences that I’m grateful for and will never forget. How could I forget the first time I ever tried escargot?
When I became a mom, I knew that I wanted to instill that same openness in my daughter. I wanted her to grow up with an open mind, and she has.
At three years old, she ate fried calamari for the first time. She still eats it today. These days, she’ll eat just about anything I put in front of her, just like her mom. In fact, last weekend, she tried bourbon salmon from our local supermarket and loved it. By the time we were done, I was wishing I’d bought three fillets instead of one.
Last night, my daughter, father and I had the opportunity to go out and have a wild game dinner at Raven Hill Orchard in East Waterboro, Maine. The dinner was just one of many that have been hosted at Raven Hill Orchard as part of The New England Farm 2 Fork Project, founded by Chef Sebastian Carosi. To say this man is talented would be an understatement. In fact, none of my words can accurately describe how great of a cook he is.
My father, daughter, and I knew we were in for a special treat since my dad already knew how well the chef could cook. (He made my mom a special dinner for her birthday that they are still raving about a couple of weeks later.)
When the kidlet, dad, and I took our first taste of the Maine moose and crispy cattails, we knew our expectations would be met and then some. And we were right. The moose, bear and deer meat were cooked to perfection. I especially loved the Maine black beer ‘chimi’ with scorched local honey-smoked chili sauce. The dish had a spiciness to it that I loved. In fact, I could eat more right now.
Aside from the scrumptious dinner, it was a treat for me to see my daughter moaning and groaning over her plates. She attacked her food with gusto and made me proud to be her mom. I hope that as she continues to grow up, she keeps her mind open to all the wonderful foods that our planet has to offer.
If you’d like to see the full menu of what we ate, click on the image above. But I warn you, it may make you hungry.
Before I close, I would like to leave a special message for Sebastian and Heather:
Thank you both so much for a wonderful evening. It was definitely one I will remember forever. The food was delicious, as was the apple cider punch. And Sebastian, I must say that I’m glad my first taste of bear meat was through one of your meals. You are an extremely talented man, and I truly believe that no matter where you, Heather and your adorable son end up, you’ll be a success. It’s obvious that you have a great love for food. Keep up the great work.