It was a sultry summer evening, the kind one might expect to find along the bayous of Louisiana, a fitting atmosphere for the antebellum ambiance of the historic Taylor Ranch in Byron.
Despite the southern aura, last weekend's fall celebration hosted by the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT) was a distinctly East County affair, featuring the freshest and most delectable of the area's homegrown harvest.
The fourth annual fundraiser featured an array of produce, cheeses, olive oils and more, all prepared and displayed by premiere chefs and restaurateurs throughout the Bay Area. Local vintners Bloomfield Vineyards, Cana/Tamayo Family Vineyards, Cline Cellars, Hanna Nicole Vineyards and Viano Winery were also on hand, pouring for guests.
Fresh fruit tartlets, goat cheese on crispy tortillas, summer tomatoes with corn and pepper relish, and a whole roasted pig were just a few of the offerings served up for local palates. Fresh peach ice cream, butternut polenta and a tasting table of olive oils tempted diners as they strolled by the tantalizing tables.
This is all about local farmers supporting farmers, said David Navarrette, owner of Brentwood Olive Oil. People come from all over Contra Costa for this; it's a great event.
Menu contributors included Brentwood Olive Oil, Knoll Farms, Nines Restaurant, Nature's Bounty and Frog Hollow Farms. The fare was prepared by chefs from Danville's Faz Restaurant, the Sunrise Bistro in Walnut Creek, Nibblers in Pleasant Hill, Venus in Berkeley, John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, Savory Cook Catering in Pleasant Hill and Sunny Side Caf