On July 31 at the Shelburne Farms, Vermont Fresh Network awarded the team of Jessica’s at Swift House Inn as the Best Bite of 2022. The attendees voted yes to the succulent slices of venison carpaccio folded on a bruschetta, squiggled with horseradish creme fraiche, adorned with a curl of bright pink pickled red onion, and finally blessed with Swift House microgreens.
Chef Rob Fenn conceptualized the menu for the Best Bite competition at the Annual Forum Dinner.
Fenn also worked with owner Matthew Robinson and Fenn’s trusty team from the kitchen to execute the overall vision.
Although beverage sampling was already well underway, the farm doors slid open at 6:30 p.m.
The attendees rushed toward all of the amazing goodies, including delightful bites from many other purveyors from all throughout Vermont, including Philo Ridge Farm, Honey Road, and many other fine, distinguished restaurants.
The ambience of the fine, historic barns imbued the event with a sense of dignity and significance.
By the time the hungry attendees got to the Jessica’s at Swift House Inn table, many were hot and looking to slake their thirst. It’s a good thing there were ice cold shots of chilled honeydew ginger soup awaiting them.
The sous chef Micah Pratt helped perform the prep tasks and cleanup, of which he is a stickler and a perfectionist. Fenn expects the best from Pratt, and the two have worked out a subtle precision, like a well-practiced basketball team.
On the front-of-house side, mixologist Laura Fenn served up her Mountain Blueberry Lemonade with vodka. The blueberries were handpicked from the six blueberry bushes that live close to the sidewalk of the Swift House Inn entrance. The colors were light and pinkish lavender with a berry to garnish. Sommelier David Herren mingled with the diners, replenished the trays, and talked wine with guests.
Vermont Fresh Network brings purveyors and distributors together to support organic farm fresh food.
As a team, we were really excited to participate in this prestigious event. For 24 years, Vermont Fresh has been supporting and connecting farmers, restaurateurs, chefs, mixologists, beverage makers, and more, through the Annual Forum Dinner. One of the most beautiful and serene places in Vermont is the Shelburne Farms was a buzz of activity for this sold-out fundraiser. All of these hardworking and creative food professionals were bringing their A-game, and it was exciting to watch and participate.