As our Chef and culinary team worked to perfect the three items on our new Fall Menu, we were inspired by a poem from our favorite “Farmer Poet,” Wendell Berry:
The Wild Geese
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
As the food we wanted to offer our guests came together, we saw these themes of gathering, togetherness, abundance, and harvest reflected in different ways.
With Nam’s Schoolhouse Charity Banh Mi, we return to a project we began last year to support the vision of Nam Harrison, an elementary school student who decided he wanted to contribute to something bigger than himself to make the world a better place. Thanks to the support of our guests, we helped raise $7,663 to help Nam (a schoolmate of our co-founders’ daughter) build a school for the children of the ethnic minority C’Tu tribe in rural Vietnam, the country where he was born and adopted. This donation helped push his fundraising over the edge, and in the year since we last offered the sandwich the school was built! But Nam’s project isn’t over yet. After visiting the new school for the dedication, Nam and his family realized that so much more was needed to give the beautiful new structure a heart and soul. Building a school system from scratch means they need everything from textbooks and art supplies to salaries and living quarters for the teachers who will be relocating from more urban areas to teach at the rural school. A portion of the proceeds from every sandwich sold will go to support Nam’s commitment to providing these critical supplies and resources to the new school.
With our Pachamama Cubano, we’ve brought back a new take on a perennial guest favorite! We have partnered again with our farmer friend (and supply chain consultant!) Michael Antoci. He raises heritage breed pigs with methods far surpassing organic standards, protecting genetic biodiversity and the intrinsically sustainable farming techniques that our grandparents’ generation would recognize and appreciate. Ranging through the pristine forest, the pigs forage on grubs, nuts, and acorns. Twice daily, Antoci’s call rings out through the trees and the pigs come running for a meal of whey, spent grain, ice cream, and bread painstakingly rescued from the waste streams of the local dairy, brewery, and bakery. When you bite into this seasonal sandwich, you’re helping to support one of the truly special farmers going to great lengths to do things the right way.
With the Napa Vineyard Salad, our chef celebrates all the best the autumn harvest has to offer. This jewel-toned beauty offers a perfect balance between bright, tangy, and rich with a blend of textures from smooth and creamy (the grilled feta) to crisp and juicy (the ripe red grapes) to chewy and earthy (the al dente farro grains). Close your eyes and imagine you’re enjoying it on a perfectly crisp day on the vineyard!
Autumn is a time of transition, an opportunity to slow down and pause in gratitude for the abundance all around us. Our new fall menu reflects our commitment to supporting our values through the food we serve, and we invite you to join us!