This past Sunday, I was one of the fortunate folks who attended a gorgeous dinner at Fallon Hills Ranch. I’ve been getting meat and eggs from them for about 2 years now, and was excited to visit the place where it all comes from.
Wandering around, we met Honey the goat. She was the only goat in a giant flock of recently sheared sheep. When we walked up to the fence, the sheep took off, but honey came running up to us and proceeded to make goat sounds, which never cease to crack me up. I have to admit: I thought about stealing her, but later learned that a certain 3 year old (human, and even cuter than the goat) is very fond of her, so I decided against it.
But seriously! How cute are those ears?
Once everyone arrived, we got a tour of the ranch, which is truly beautiful and looks exactly like a place that you’d want your food to be coming from. Rolling hills, big skies and a breeze (okay WIND) that lets you know that the Pacific is just over the hill. And what makes it even more incredible; Kevin, the friendly face we know from the farmers markets, is the 5th generation in his family to own this 310 acre ranch. It’s been in the family since 1875.
Happy animals live here.
Er, speaking of happy animals, after the tour, we got a butchery demonstration from Chef Sean Canavan of Tender Greens. While effortlessly breaking down the lamb, he explained his food philosophy, which is to use the entire animal- nothing gets wasted. I swoon a tiny bit, and make a mental note to visit his restaurant.
After the demo, the wine from DeLoach Vineyards was set out and the passed hors d’oeuvres bagan to circulate. Fun fact: the winemaker is Brian Maloney, Kevin’s brother. Did I mention I love this family?
I apologize for the lack of pictures of the hors d’oeuvres. You’ll have to take my word for it: they were beautiful and delicious. And only one was off the table for me. The rest; oysters, beef tartar in lettuce cups, salmon and halibut ceviche in plantain chip cups, pickled lamb tongue with tomato jam and dried olives; all gluten-free. Such a nice break from the tired crostini! I shed a tiny tear for the bread crumb coated pig head appetizer, but got over it quickly when the oysters came back around.
While we happily drank our wine and snacked on small tasty bites, Brian from DeLoach placed the all important wine on the table that we would be dining at.
I mean, c’mon! Does it get more perfect?!
And it’s time to eat!
The center pieces were cheery sunflowers and jars of fresh herbs and grape tomatoes. (I’ll be stealing this idea)
Slow poached veal carpaccio, tonnato sauce, shaved Bohemian creamy carpagio and a shaved apple, fennel, grape and caper salad. Made by Chef Sean from Tender Greens. I have an official crush.
Antipasti; lamb ham with lavender, brescola, two tasty cheeses and jardiniere.
Chef Francis Hogan, Bluestem Brasserie
Lamb merguez, heirloom eggplant, muhummarra, and dill yogurt. Again, from Chef Sean.
Porchetta with fingerlings and chard.
Chef Jamie Lloyd, Golden Gate Meat Co.
This got great reviews from my fellow diners, but I refrained due to the breadcrumbs it was stuffed with. I was already pretty full, so don’t feel bad for me.
Besides, I just piled my plate with potatoes and chard and doused them with this BACON BUTTER.
The dessert looked amazing; tres leches cake, candied lamb belly, and green apples. Rave reviews from my fellow diners. Made by the very talented Chef Francis Ang from the Fifth Floor in San Francisco.
With full bellies and blankets over our shoulders, we said goodbye to our new friends, and headed back to the city. The sheep decided to say goodbye on our way out, in the form of a loud and hysterical chorus
What an incredible day. I consider myself very fortunate that I know where my food comes from. It was so great to visit the ranch and see it in action.
In the Bay Area? Fallon Hills can be found at several Farmers Markets.