Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 10:00 PM
KALAMAZOO — How would you make a tomato parfait?
Food Dance Executive Chef Robb Hammond’s approach was to start with a layer of basil pudding in a martini glass then add a layer of sliced heirloom tomatoes, a layer of brandy wine pana cotta, a layer of heirloom tomatoes with basil chutney then a layer of heirloom tomato mousse. That yields lots of texture contrasts, lots of complexity, lots of flavor.
To make tomato mousse involves stepping into chef territory (unless you know how to correctly render tomato water with cheesecloth and reduce that to a syrup to incorporate the flavor into a mousse).
Don’t try this at home.
Do try a taste at the fifth annual Harvest Benefit Dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday at Food Dance, 401 E. Michigan Ave., the unofficial start of fall for the Kalamazoo dining scene.
Hammond naturally created a dish for the dinner that used tomatoes because, “the tomatoes are brilliant this year,” he said. “The hot weather has made them sweet, intensified their sugars. It was the best year for tomatoes you’ll ever get.”
At the dinner, Hammond will be joined by chefs John Korycki of Zazios, Matt Millar of The Reserve in Grand Rapids and Nate Lee of Webster’s Prime.
Additionally, 15 Food Dance employees will put together small appetizers for a large appetizer buffet.
“It has been a way to get them interested and involved,” Hammond said of the employees. “No one in our kitchen is just working their way through college.
“They all want to be chefs some day, and they need to work on their own voice with food.”
The $60 admission price will also offer a five-course meal that includes a whole goat prepared in a Sicilian way, a pig roasted on a stick, eight food and beer pairings from New Holland Brewing and live music.
Proceeds will go to Fair Food Matters. The benefit has raised about $18,000 in the past four years, Hammond said.
“Fair Food Matters does so many charitable things with children and food — just like us — from teaching youths how to grow food to teaching them how to cook it,” Hammond said.
Food Dance's five-course Harvest Benefit Dinner to combine locally farmed food, New Holland beer and live music
Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:00 PM
KALAMAZOO — Celebrate the best of Michigan — from farming to beer to food — at the fifth annual Harvest Benefit Dinner at Kalamazoo's Food Dance.
The family-style, five course dinner has raised more than $18,000 in the previous four years. This year's event will send 75 percent of the ticket price to Fair Food Matters' Growing Matter Garden and Future Chefs programs, the restaurant said in a press release.
The dinner will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Food Dance, 401 E. Michigan Ave. Tickets are $60.
Food Dance has partnered with Holland's New Holland Brewing Co., which will be pairing beer with each course of the meal, and Michigan Public Radio, which will be represented by host Jennifer White.
Six area chefs — Robb Hammond and Devon and Rebecca, of Food Dance; John Korycki, of Zazios; Matt Millar, of The Reserve, of Grand Rapids; and Nate Lee, of Webster's Prime — will prepare the meal.
Michigan folk singer Rachael Davis will also perform.
Organizers said there will also be a mini farmers market in the restaurant.
We are proud to announce the online dinner reservation site Open Table, has graciously awarded us with 7 "Diner's Choice Awards" for Michigan including; Best American Restaurant, Best Ambiance, Best Food, Best Overall Restaurant, Best Service, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible.
See what Michael Clifford at Eat Food Kalamazoo said about Food Dance in his most recent restaurant review...
Who needs days off!? Duncan Crew will show up and demo anywhere the love flows regardless if it is planned or not. Mondays on this tour are typically designed to be travel days. We have been taking the time to leisurely get to our next big city and check into a hotel but, today we decided that rest is for the less awesome.
We got a chance to be a part of a seminar at Kalamazoo College on the subject of “The Psychology of Creativity”. If you know a little about the crew we have on this tour, you know that this crew is the perfect discussion subjects for that course. We were invited by Professor Siu-Lan Tan and it was a sheer pleasure. It is a hip and different experience to discuss what it is that we do on a high academic level in a panel discussion format. The students were charming and engaging and they were the types to take full advantage of the chance to engage us in conversation and learn from it.
As it turns out, Kalamazoo College is the oldest educational institution in Michigan, being established in 1833. Thus, this detour was the perfect place to visit on the Heritage Tour. A huge thanks goes out to the class and college for having us in their midst to speak with and learn from them. It was a fantastic experience for sure.
Of course, since we were back in the Kalamazoo area for part of the day, we couldn’t pass up a chance to spend some quality time with Uncle Danny and we had the best meal we have yet seen on this tour. If you are in the area, check out Food Dance. The name alone screams “Holy Cow This Is Awesome!”
Edison project's student-run greenhouse grows fresh produce for local restaurant
Edison Environmental Science Academy students are turning fresh produce into profits after forging a business partnership with Kalamazoo’s Food Dance Cafe.
Since December, Edison’s garden club has supplied the local restaurant with fresh arugula, parsley, dill and basil, all planted and tended by students through the magnet school’s environmental economics curriculum, said Matthew Johnson, Edison teacher and garden club advisor.
Food Dance Cafe owner Julie Stanley — herself a former elementary school teacher — said the students’ business venture not only offers products at competitive prices but supports the restaurant’s longstanding mission to work with local providers. Read full story