Published Sep 25, 2010

Delicious Evening

By Tomoko Ogawa
60+ guests, a dozen volunteers and chefs Donna Prizgintas and Scott Coldiron all gathered in Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza in Ames on Sunday, September 12 for PFI’s 4th Annual Garlic Fest.

Ready to “overwhelm” our guests

Following the field day at Berry Patch Farm, the evening started with the tasting of four varieties of heritage garlic that Rick and Stacy Hartmann and Brian Hayward from Small Potatoes Farm provided us.

“Transylvania” won the garlic tasting (pictured here is “Shandong,” very tasty as well)

This year, many of the dishes were passed around family style. I heard many times during the evening that people needed to walk around before moving onto the next course.

Liver mousse pate with pickled cucumbers

The list of producers for the dinner included more than 15 PFI members. I was reminded the bounty of great food available here in Iowa. Donna made all the dishes without calling for special ingredients. You wouldn’t need to look up a food dictionary to know what she used. But with her amazing touch, the meal was filled with magical flavors. Donna says everything she prepared is something anyone can replicate in his/her own kitchen. Without her special hands and palate, whatever we try to recreate won’t be quite the same of course, but she is right, the beauty of her cooking lies in its simplicity. Rick Hartmann’s comment on the meal summarizes it so well; “The PFI Annual Garlic Fest was the most outstanding meal I’ve eaten in Iowa. Ever.”

Chefs Scott Coldiron and Donna Prizgintas

Occasionally I get teased about having moved to Iowa all the way from Tokyo. Sure I won’t call this place hip, but that’s what I like abou
t Iowa. I love being able to eat delicious and high quality meal like the one at this year’s Garlic Fest and avoid going to snott
y, pretentious places where they are only good at selling images and lack quality food. It was truly a joyous evening filled with delicious dishes, smiles and all the pleasant noise and smell. Felt very nourishing to all my senses.

Happy eaters

Thank you to our producers, guests, chefs, volunteers, staffs, and everyone else who realized this amazing evening!

Hannah Lewis, one of the wonderful volunteers, glazing tropea onions