The fawn pate wasn’t just a delicious item. It was something sacred, unique and provoking.
It brought ingredients together in a way that highlighted their individual value but also the value of their sum. It was rich, creamy, delicately smoky, laced with fruity notes with undertones of onion. The prevailing flavor, a slightly gamey profile that exploded on the palate creating a dance of flavors that were earthy and ethereal at the same time. The pate was a complex beautiful example of the possibility of local food; sourced almost entirely from the farm, shared with its farmers and neighbors, providing enjoyment, energy and nutrition for future plantings and harvests. It helped make future creations possible.
We gathered, seven of us at different times, to enjoy. Each leaving impacted in some way if nothing more than satiated. It destroyed stigmas about eating liver and opened new gateways for consumers of the myriad of possiblities of food. We shared conversation, thoughts and reflections that may have never surfaced. Ellis rightfully stated, “Even kings weren’t served fawn pate”. Something that provided superficial humor but also a deeper discovery. We were transcended beyond royalty; being able to create, share and taste something more valuable than any mountain of gold or gems. We had no responsibility other than to enjoy it to the fullest with no fear of judgement. We provided a purpose for an accident, a mistake. It was the transformation of death into the birth of something new.
Beyond the food is an idea; concepts, recipes and traditions all swirling together as if in a pot to create a greater understanding of our past and glimpses into our future. This food brought us together to share and enjoy. It was indifferent our differences and beliefs, acting as a medium for new connections and the creation of unique experiences.
I am humbled to have worked with such ingredients. Even moreso honored to have been given the privilege to do so. Pepperfield – the land, the people, the idea and experiences – has provided me with a memorable gift that I may never receive again. But I am satisfied, having eaten better than a king. To me it’s not just food, it is life.