Sunday, September 21, 2008

Staff picnic

EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME Chez Panisse throws a picnic party for the staff out at the farm — Bob Cannard's farm, that is, where so much of the fresh, flavorful produce served at Chez Panisse is grown. This year we went to a new site, not his Glen Ellen operation on Sonoma Mountain but Green String farm, just east of Petaluma on Old Adobe Road.

Two goats were splayed out on racks, roasting in front of a fire;

elsewhere, Bob had built an ad hoc oven for foccaccia, pizza, and at the end of the afternoon a delicious galette.
Nothing to it but firebrick floor and walls, a sheet of iron across the top; ordinary bricks to bulk the oven out, and a few wheelbarrows of crushed rock to cover the thing. I've got to do something like this next to the patio, I think.
We had some delicious pans-bagnats, too. (Checking the spelling has brought a curious website to my attention.) Well, not quite authentic, but extremely delicious and very simple: bread, sliced tomato, arugula, aioli, a soak of olive oil. Just make sure, as Chez Panisse does, that the ingredients are the best you can get.

Oh: the galette. Bob's brother was presiding over that course, but as you can see here Lindsey stepped in to help roll out a few shells, wielding a wine-bottle for a rolling pin. The filling was sliced apples, quartered fresh French prunes, and chopped walnuts were involved, and pieces of butter, and a generous sprinkling of nocino; and the galettes were baked in a very hot oven that brought out an amazing complexity and depth of flavor.
Wines too numerous to mention

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