• Candice Smith

Into the Wild - A Dining Experience to Play With Your Sense


All of your senses will be ignited. You’ll smell the earthy smoke, see the beauty of the shale quarry, hear the hiss of the oil on hot steel, and taste the woodland inspired fare. Wilderness, art and food will merge. COME INTO THE WILD!

Field Venture is a collaboration between Chef James Gop of Heirloom Fire and Magdalena Mieczkowska of Magdalena Events. The couple encourages their guests to leave society behind and join them for a thoughtful and interactive four course feast inspired by the native surroundings and seasonal forage. This magical evening takes you on a journey through the forest and teases your tastebuds along the way. More than a picnic or a farm to table dinner, the event unites mystery and tradition to create an unforgettable meal.

Heirloom Fire is a sustainably minded, fire based catering events company and together with Magdalena Events create a full service event planning and design experience. Heirloom Fire will set up their kitchen anywhere across the country as well as abroad. James and Magdalena are dedicated to curating inspired and unique events at beautiful locations. The chefs cook with fresh, local, seasonal and handcrafted foods from farms in the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, and the menus are designed around what is available from the farms. “We work with some of the most talented and gifted organic farmers on the east coast.

An important part of telling the story of a region is grasping that moment in time and preserving the season's harvest,” said James. Heirloom Fire sources from the surrounding fields and pastures, and then highlights the abundant resources through pickling, jam making, salting, curing, smoking and jaring. Into The Wild will feature the harvest of Kitchen Garden Farm, Farmer Ground, Mill River Farm, MX Morning Star Farm, Queens Greens and Marty’s Local.

The Into The Wild dinner will be held at the Gather Greene venue in Coxsackie, NY which is described as “a place to escape, but also to connect, to gather with friends and family, to celebrate, and to draw out time. A place to create memories that inspire so that you leave the same, but changed.” Sited on over 100 acres, Gather Greene offers rolling hills, vast open fields, woodlands and strolls beside a shale pond. “The breezy ridge top boasts views of the Catskills and Berkshires that dazzle during the day and take on striking hues of pink at sunset.” To further enhance the experience of being in the wild, Gather Greene provides cozy cabins for

diners to spend the end of their evening, lulled to sleep by the music of nature.

As the fourth annual dinner in the experiential series, Into The Wild, the evening will highlight the hard work of local farmers and aims to spread the word about sustainability. “Imagine a post-fox hunt supper; the English countryside with a healthy dose of rugged wilderness,” explains Magdalena. The meal kicks off with a cocktail hour that leads guests on an interactive scavenger hunt on their way to the dining table. “As our guests complete the hunt, the dining area will be an explosion of green. It’s the what’s next factor,” mused James.

At a past Field Venture Dinner a simple apple was re-imagined. After the guests finished their walk through the wild, they were served an apple which was cored, stuffed with blue cheese and chocolate and then roasted. It was reminiscent of their walk and resembled an apple one would find at an orchard in the autumn, dehydrated and beginning to ferment. “We highlighted the region’s abundance of culinary and craft artisans and nourish the strong connection between local makers and the landscape. The wares that graced the tablescape came from a partnership with potters hailing from the Northern Berkshires and Southern Vermont who shared their work with dinner guests, explained James. Wilderness, art and food had blended.

The upcoming event is shrouded in secrecy, but I was given a few hints! As in past events, Into The Wild “may” include servers and chefs dressed in an English country style complete with knickers and caps. The only light may come from oil lanterns, and the tablescape could be filled with unexpected, woodsy foraged items that serve as part of the meal. “Table items could possibly be hidden in plain site, and a simple board may serve as the dining table as the food then becomes the table runner,” explained James. The vague hints about the menu include the possibility of trout, venison, and pheasant all crafted with fire. If during the hunt, there are pine cones on the ground, this may also inspire the menu, and the food may be transformed to resemble the fallen cone. If wild blueberries are growing along the path, they will probably be creatively reimagined to become a part of the menu.

“Imagine a theater where you are the player or an actor, but the theater is in the wilderness. The sets, costumes, and special effects are all there,” said Magdalena.

As you arrive you are handed a Playbill/ Map to guide you through this theatrical experience.

Your senses are heightened, partially due to the intoxicating smells of wood and smoke. Your footsteps crackle as you approach the forest, every step taking you closer to the forest’s delights. You have just entered, “Into the Wild”.

As you continue to walk further you see mysterious forest installations. You are greeted by crafted surprises, charcuterie and cocktails for your pleasure. As you leave the forest and approach the open kitchen, the smell of roasted vegetables and juicy meats takes over your body. Our play continues to unfold right in front of you. The only difference between this and a Broadway show is your participation.

“Our goal is to create an event that our guests will say is the best meal and experience happening anywhere in the world that evening,” said James.

Into The Wild, A Field Venture Dinner

Jul 28, 6:00 PM

Gather Greene

176 Levett Rd,

Coxsackie, NY 12051

Tickets: fieldventureevents.com

#Events #FieldAdventure #Coxsackie #GreeneCounty #Foraging

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