2015 Dinner Season

May 10th – Mother’s Day Brunch 

Treat your mother to an extraordinary brunch at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  We will be serving some of our classic breakfast dishes, featuring the best, early spring ingredients from local farmers and food artisans.  The menu will include breakfast sausages and bacon, pastured egg dishes, seasonal vegetables and salads, cheese & preserves and an assortment of baked goods.  This event will be BYOB, but we will provide some traditional cocktail mixers to accompany your libations, such as our wickedly delicious house-made Bloody Mary mix.

May 30th - Spring is Here

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”  One of the farm’s spring rituals is the first dinner featuring wood-grilled lamb from Caveny Farm.  Fresh picked spring peas, sweet turnips, delicate asparagus, spring greens, and many herbs from the organic herb garden will adorn your plates and your palates. If we’re lucky, strawberries and rhubarb-laden desserts will round out the menu.   

June 13 - Local Beer and Local Food

Central Illinois has a growing repertoire of craft micro-brewery beers.  This meal will include four fantastic beers from Triptych Brewery in Savoy paired with four courses.  Summer will be just a week away, but who says it is too early to start enjoying a beer outdoors on the patio?  

June 27th - An Ode to Ottolenghi - A Vegetarian Feast

We just can’t get enough of the gorgeous food in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty and Plenty More.  So, this year, we seek his inspiration for our annual vegetarian dinner.  We will transform early summer’s  best offerings into a multi-course feast for the senses.  We should be at the height of berry harvest at this time of year; so we expect juicy, tart, gooseberries, currants, and raspberries to make their way into the menu.

July 11th – Guest Chef - Cleetus Friedman from Fountainhead (Chicago) and New Holland Brewery - Tickets still available!

Prairie Fruits Farm welcomes Chef Cleetus Friedman from The Fountainhead.  The Fountainhead has quickly become a neighborhood favorite in North West Lakeview, providing outstanding farm-to-table pub fare.  Chef Cleetus has organized private farm dinners for years in the Chicagoland area, and has always been a big supporter of local farmers and food artisans.  To find out more about The Fountainhead and New Holland Brewery (just click on the links).  

Chef Cleetus has created a terrific menu paired to perfection with beers from New Holland Brewery.

July 25th – Los sabores de Mexico

Chef Alisa LOVES to cook Mexican food (and she’s really good at it too). This year, we plan to offer up a “spicy” menu reflecting the diverse cuisines and flavors (sabores) of Mexico.  All of the dishes will be prepared using local and sustainably-raised ingredients.  Expect pastured goat barbacoa, handmade corn tortillas, tamales, goat’s milk cajeta, fresh cheeses y mas. 

August 8th – Guest Chef Niall Campbell from firefly grill, Effingham - 

We are delighted to host Chef Niall Campbell and his team from firefly grill for their first Dinner on the Farm.  Their restaurant’s mission statement says it all, “firefly is here to nourish and care for people so they feel they are coming home.”  For more information about firefly grill, visit their website at www.ffgrill.com

August 15th – Backyard BBQ 

Join us for a casual meal of down-home American fare.  Our chefs will be stoking the wood-fired grill and filling it with smoked beef brisket and grass-fed BBQ chicken.  Undeniably, the menu will be rounded out with a selection of side dishes, including THE BEST sweetcorn, and tomatoes hot off the vine.  Peaches and blackberries will make an appearance (maybe as pie!), and of course gelato!  

September 12th – Guest Chefs Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski from Sunday Dinner Club and Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chicago

Our good friends Josh and Christine from Chicago’s Sunday Dinner Club and Honey Butter Fried Chicken return to the farm for an early fall dinner.  Honey Butter Fried Chicken is one of the hottest new restaurants in Chicago, serving simple, real and oh-so-delicious local food fare.  If you haven’t experienced one of their farm dinners here, you have been missing out!  For details about their restaurant and mouth-watering pics go to: www.honeybutter.com

September 26th – For the love of Cucurbits           

Mac Condill, a world authority on cucurbits (that’s the plant family of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds) will return to Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, loaded down with squashes from across the globe.  As this is our fourth dinner season partnering with The Great Pumpkin Patch, we know we can count on Mac to mesmerize our guests with squash tales.  Each course features a different variety of squash or pumpkin, prepared to showcase its unique attributes, and our chefs feel that pork is the ideal companion to this fall themed menu.  This is one meal that will satisfy your mind as well as your stomach.  The Great Pumpkin Patch is a multi-generation family farm in the heart of Illinois’ Amish country, and is truly a fun family destination and an agricultural gem.  Plan to spend a full day at The 200 Acres, but spend this evening with us.    

October 10th – 100 Yard

It is our tradition to feed our guests a sumptuous “extreme local” meal featuring foods grown or raised within 100 yards of where you will dine.  Our chefs will prepare a menu entirely from ingredients grown and raised on the farm.  We are going back to the tried and true, and will be raising Guinea Hens in our "savannah."  Wes will have his hands full as we rotationally raise the hens, moving them onto fresh vegetation daily.   Speaking of fruit, we are hoping for lots of apples and pears to round out the meal. The menu will incorporate a full year of food preservation, the entire gamut of our farmstead cheese, eggs from our beautiful hens and fresh fruit and vegetables from our gardens.  

October 24th – Guest Chef Ed Sura from Perennial Virant, Chicago

At this point we almost feel that Paul Virant and his team need no introduction.  The wonderful food and ingenious preservation techniques that come from Paul Virant’s eponymous restaurant, Perennial Virant will continue to amaze.  At the helm of Perennial is chef de cuisine, Ed Sura.  He has been recognized by Zagat, as one of the top 30 chefs under 30.  If you really think you need more information before securing a seat at this dinner, go to www.perennialchicago.com  Otherwise, you should just take our word for it.  

November 7th - Guest Chef Nathan Sears of The Radler, Chicago

We enjoyed Chef Nathan Sears dinner so much last season, that we just had to invite him back again.  Nathan trained under Paul Virant at Vie, but he is definitely making a name for himself at his Bavarian-style restaurant The Radler. The Radler has been described as having the best German food in Chicago, and received rave reviews from Chicago Magazine, Tasting Table, Zagat, and others.  The use of local meats and produce is prominent throughout Nathan’s modern and rustic cuisine.  We will include beer pairings from The Blind Pig Brewery.  To learn more about The Radler, go to www.dasradler.com  Do join us – “Oans, zwoa, g’suffa!”    

December 5th – Holiday (event starts at 5:00 pm)

The final dinner of 2015!  It's the start of the winter holiday season, so we like to slow things down a bit for this dinner.  Unlike our typical dinner format, this meal is presented in tasting menu fashion, consisting of seven to eight plated courses.  The feast should be a great way to celebrate the end of a wonderful farm dinner season.  Come celebrate the holidays with us.    

The menu

Apple Soup with saffron Chevre cream

Gingered lake fish cake, roasted beet and horseradish remoulade, burnt carrots, baby greens  

Comte potatoes, feta, pickled green beans, dill, fried shallot  

Pork belly, winter squash, farro, apple, fennel, hazelnut and pomegranate

English meat pie, scarlet turnips  

Cheese: menage a bleu  

A large handful of small desserts

ShowClix link for ticket purchase: http://www.showclix.com/event/HolidayDinner

Unless otherwise noted, the dinner ticket price is $125 per person plus 9% sales tax.  Most dinners accommodate up to 50 people.  

**Our chefs spend a lot of time planning, creating, and sourcing all of the ingredients for the menu of their design emphasizing local meats and produce, as well as a focus on our goat’s milk cheeses. These dinners are not always appropriate for vegans (as all of our dinners include a cheese course, or our cheeses are featured throughout the dinner) and those with dietary restrictions.

If you are a vegetarian or have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please contact Events Manager/Sous Chef Sarah Hess at prairiefruitsinfo@gmail.com when you purchase your ticket so she can make arrangements with the chef.  We will do our best to accommodate, but we can’t guarantee that all courses will meet the requirements/restrictions. **