The Gathering Table: Autumn Pop-Up Restaurant in Southern MN

October 14th marked Chef + Farmer Collective’s second pop-up restaurant event in downtown Mankato, MN.  Despite being rained on, our gathering turned out to be a perfectly lovely + cozy evening!  Our outdoor set up was moved into Tandem Bagel’s storefront where we transformed the local bagel shop into a private restaurant for the night.

Before we get too far into this post, I have to give credit to our photographer + friend, Jonathan Head, for the stunning snaps we have from this gathering.  Typically, I take my own blog post photos, but being in the kitchen preparing food for 50 people really cuts down on picture taking time.  We think Jonathan did the most phenomenal job of capturing the evening!

 

 

My little sister, Lillie, was the curator of the decor for this gathering.  She did a great job pulling together a creative set-up + design with a last minute change in venue.  A few strands of lights, a big bucket of greenery, + 84 white pumpkins were all she needed to create a simple + seasonal tablescape.

 

 

 

Say, “hello”, to the kitchen crew.  On the left, we have my dad, Jeff Schultz, our executive chef, then there’s me, next is our friend and fellow chef, Laura Siefkes, + on the end we have Jen Jaeger — the best sou chef there ever was.  After cooking together for all these years, we finally have a photo of our collective group!

 

I’d say it looks pretty cozy + inviting in there!  Did I mention that this event sold out in 48 hours? Yep, all 50 tickets were gone in just two days… we were stunned!  Stunned + so grateful for the support from our local Southern MN community — you guys are incredible.

 

 

 

OUR AUTUMN MENU:

Course No. 1: Personal Cheeseboard

This course included individual cheeseboards filled with blackberries, almonds, salami, Tandem Bagel bagel chips, black grapes, + an assortment of cheeses including an aged white cheddar and a Spanish Manchego.  The cheeseboard course was paired with a red wine compliments of Chankaska Creek Winery of Kasota, MN.

Course No. 2: Butternut Squash + Sage Soup

or

French Onion Soup

For the second course, our guests were given a choice between a creamy butternut squash soup with sage or a French onion soup with a toasty baguette + melty cheese.

 

Course No. 3: Autumn Market Salad with Maple + Mustard Vinaigrette

Our salad course was composed of locally sourced greens + produce that were selected fresh from the market the morning of our event.  The market salad included spinach, ribbons of cabbage, + thinly sliced brussel sprouts tossed in a maple mustard vinaigrette which was topped with fresh pear, maple + black pepper hazelnuts, + blue cheese.

Course No. 4:

Wine Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Butternut Squash + Goat Cheese Puree + Swiss Chard

or

Lake Superior Trout with Roasted Cauliflower + Cilantro + Pumpkin Seed Pesto

 

Course No. 5:

Apple + Cardamom Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream + Apple Cider Reduction

or

Pistachio Creme Brûlée with Cacao Nib + Pistachio Garnish

The cardamom-spiced bundt cake was drenched in a nutty, sweet brown butter buttercream + drizzled with an apple cider reduction.  The apple cider reduction was created by reducing apple cider + a touch of sugar until it turned into a sweet caramel.  The Pistachio Creme Brûlée was a classic brûlée infused with raw pistachios then finished with a torched sugar crust.

 

THANK YOU!

We are so grateful + appreciative of everyone that contributed to the success of our pop-up restaurant!  Thank you so much to all of our guests that made it out to our event + supported Chef + Farmer Collective.  We hope we left you full + inspired.

Our local partners + sponsors were a huge contribution to our success!  Thanks to Tandem Bagels for trusting us with your kitchen — you guys are the best to work with + we love your creative vision!  And once again, A to Z RentalHilltop Florist & Greenhouse, + Chankaska Creek Winery were great additions to our local support team.

We really cannot begin to thank all of our amazing friends, family members, + co-workers that made up our work crew for the hours + literal heavy lifting that they put into this gathering.  From dishwashers to waiters to photographers to decorators and furniture movers we seriously have the most talented + hardworking crew around!

Happy gathering, friends!

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