Milwaukee’s Braise restaurant’s mission is to reconnect people with their food. They have invited Sarah, Farm Table Foundation’s Chef and Kitchen Manager, to be one of three featured guest chefs in their “Leaders in Local Food 2019” event. Sarah, along with fellow staffers Sue Nielsen and Karen Schwarz, will be cooking on October 27. The team will prepare a four-course meal and, after dinner, participate in a moderated discussion with other chefs to talk about making local food systems more viable and prosperous.
As Braise writes on their website, “Being a farm to table restaurant is about much more than putting food on a plate; it is a commitment to larger principles of sustainability and supporting the local economy.” Sarah has been a big part of Farm Table’s continued emphasis on supporting Amery area farmers and serving local food. In 2018, 87% of the food served at our restaurant came from within 40 miles–and we invested over $147,000 in local farmers and businesses.
Sarah fell in love with feeding people as she learned to sling bison burgers and Thai curry from the Chef Shack food truck in Minneapolis. For her, the food at our restaurant brings full circle the relationship between farmers and the land and the issues she studied while getting her degree in Food Systems from the University of Minnesota.
Sarah is absolutely committed to a homesteaders kitchen model that creatively preserves and utilizes local fruits, vegetables, grains, and animals throughout the year. When she’s not in the kitchen, Sarah loves to walk in the woods, spend time with her family, her puppy Cashew, and have food experiences in the Twin Cities. A Virginia Woolf quote encapsulates many of her feelings about food: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Below is the recipe for one of the dishes she will be preparing at Braise!
Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bay Leaves
from Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Bon Appétit, November 2016
- 1 large butternut squash or 2–3 small honeynut squash (about 3 pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 6–8 dried bay leaves
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Using a peeler, remove skin and white flesh below (you should reach the deep orange flesh). Rub all over with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast in a baking dish just large enough to hold halves side by side until beginning to soften (a paring knife should easily slip in only about 1/4″), 15–18 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring chile, maple syrup, butter, and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and removing chile as soon as desired heat level is reached (set aside for serving), until just thick enough to coat spoon, 6–8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and keep glaze warm.
Transfer squash to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, score rounded sides of squash halves crosswise, going as deep as possible but without cutting all the way through. Return squash to baking dish, scored sides up, and tuck bay leaves between a few of the slices; season with salt and pepper.
Roast squash, basting with glaze every 10 minutes or so and using pastry brush to lift off any glaze in dish that is browning too much, until tender and glaze forms a rich brown coating, 45–60 minutes. Serve topped with reserved chiles.
Do ahead: Squash can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let cool until just warm; cover and store at room temperature. Reheat before serving.