Sedalia Area Farmers’ Market to host Farm to Fork Dinner

By Faith Bemiss -

The Sedalia Area Farmers’ Market fundraiser “Farm to Fork Dinner” will be hosted at the Missouri State Fair Highway Gardens in a few weeks.

The open-air event will begin with appetizers and Missouri wine at 5 p.m. with a family-style dinner at 6 p.m. The nine-course meal will be prepared by Chef Steve Ratliff and along with Meagen West.

“My chef experience comes from Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, which is owned by Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops,” Ratliff said. “It’s basically a high-end resort.”

Ratliff now lives in Sedalia and cooks for local events.

West does cooking demonstrations at the SAFM and works for vendor Jeanne Schwartz, owner of Show-Me Produce in Cole Camp. Ratliff and West were selected to prepare the meal through the SAFM.

All food served will be prepared from local ingredients and will include smoked quail and rabbit, baked brie and wine-soaked wonder berries or small blueberries on baguette, along with garlic spinach and roasted shishito peppers on baguette.

The wonder berries come from vendor Kent’s County Line and the shishito peppers, a Japanese sweet pepper, from Show-Me Produce.

“They are pretty mild peppers,” West said. “They’re not spicy, you can do them grilled or sometimes pickled.”

The soups for the evening will feature a fresh seasonal vegetable stew and a French sorrel soup. Salad will be a combination of fresh and mixed greens and vegetables with smoked tomato/basil vinaigrette.

“There will be lots of farm-fresh ingredients,” West noted. “It will be a little bit higher-end than your total country meal.”

Ratliff said the recipes were a mixture of ideas from both him and West. He noted there will be about two to three days of prep work involved, with food for the meal coming from approximately 15 different SAFM vendors and farms.

The main course will be smoked loin, with wonder berry wine cream sauce, and fresh herb-roasted chicken.

“The fact that they are getting smoked pork loin, that doesn’t always happen for an event like this,” Ratliff said. “Normally people would just roast them in the oven, but I can do that part of it. So, that will be something that is special for us.”

Other courses include dauphinoise potatoes and fresh roasted vegetables. Fresh homemade breads will be served with flavored butters. Dessert will consist of seasonal fruit pies and cobblers served with roasted coffees.

This is the second time the event has been hosted by the market and it won’t be the last. SAFM Market Manager Brenda Raetz said beginning next year the event will be hosted annually.

Entertainment for the evening will include music by Knobtown Skiffle Band, Nicholas Lindenmeyer and a SAFM regular, harpist Abbie Green.

Knobtown Skiffle Band is composed of Isaac Neal, suitcase/washboard, Chris Azevedo, vocals, guitar and kazoo, Jamey Logan, fiddle/mandolin, and Jennifer Miller, upright bass. The group plays blues, ragtime, bluegrass and “old timey jug band music.”

Raetz said Lindenmeyer has played at the SAFM many times and usually plays soft rock.

“It’s just very soothing,” she added.

A silent auction will round out the evening and will showcase items from market vendors and other local businesses. Raetz said among the items will be a Farmers’ Market basket, a gift certificate from Just Get Real Photo Booth, an original sculpture from Cole Camp artist Mary Elizabeth Van Dyne and a kettle corn variety basket from vendor Popin’ and Shakin.’

Proceeds for the dinner will help assist the market with operating expenses, which will keep the vendor stall fee affordable.

The market is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays from May to October. For more information, call 281­-7244, visit or find the market on Facebook.

The Farm to Fork Dinner will be hosted at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the MSF Highway Gardens. Tickets are $100 per person or $550 for a table of six. Tickets can be purchased at the SAFM, from any SAFM board member or by calling Brenda at 281-7244 or Julie at 404-456-8784. Seating is limited to 100 people; tickets are selling quickly. In case of rain the Farm to Fork Dinner will be hosted in the FFA Building also located on the fairgrounds.

By Faith Bemiss

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

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