One thing for sure, my friend, Tasia Malakasis, sure knows how to throw a party! So when she called me and asked, “Might you come to a ‘lil thang’ I’m having here in Elkmont,” I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
I’ve come to love and know Tasia as she has built Belle Chevre into a premium artisanal goat cheese company over the past few years. It’s been wonderful to watch…and we’ve had some good fun along the way. Tasia and I have done some magazine shoots together…and often cross paths at the Fancy Food Show. But, I had never been to the creamery where the Belle Chevre goat cheese magic happens. This party was my chance.
I flew into Huntsville that afternoon, amidst severe storms and threats of downpours, determined to make it for the first cocktail. After a few bumps and delays, I made it just in time for the party caravan to the farm. As we arrived…just as I thought, the creamery was simple, yet beautiful. Horses gently galloped in the distance and the late afternoon sun shimmered over the field grass and the gentle still pond. It was the perfect backdrop for an early evening fete.
As I got out of the truck, the smell of roast lamb wafted through the air. My stomach began to grumble. Chef David Bancroft was perched under a large oak tree, carefully turning the Will Harris mutton and bathing it in Back Forty brew with fresh rosemary (mmmm…). Peach moonshine cocktails with fresh basil greeted us as we walked to our tables. And large sheets of Apalachicola oysters on ice just begged to be eaten, to which I gladly obliged. Tasia paired them with a lemon zest mignonette, which was a delightfully refreshing summer twist to one of my favorite seafoods. I’m definitely stealing that idea!
As the sun drew down, the string lights surrounding our tables started to glow. All the mamas and kiddos settled in, and we laughed and giggled our stuffed bellies off to a few good Southern jokes. A local string band propped themselves and their bass up on a few bails of hay and began to croon and pluck tunes, which made my feet start to tap. After a few twirls on the dance floor, and a few nips of bourbon, it was time to call it a night.
When Tasia calls again with another invite, I’ll definitely be on the next plane to ‘bama!