With the sun dancing on the horizon and a crisp breeze in air, it was as if Jordan Swim hand-picked an ideal evening to celebrate the first anniversary of Food Creates Community. As guests trickled into a warm home in rural Lucas Saturday night, the young chef hustled about the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on a harvest feast for forty, complete with pumpkin beignets for dessert.
The scents were enough to make every stomach rumble in anticipation of a luscious locavore feast.
Swim (above, center), a Richardson High School hospitality teacher and founder of Vestals Foods, began Food Creates Community to showcase local, seasonal ingredients and encourage the building of relationships over a communal meal. In the past year, through word of mouth, FCC has been steadily gaining momentum with foodies across the Metroplex. Something of a cross between an impromptu restaurant and a dinner party, reservations for these regular events are much sought-after among area gourmets.
Saturday’s crowd was the largest to date, and included folks from Plano, Oak Cliff and even East Texas. In the moments before dinner, the group mingled over mugs of rum-spiked cider and admired a long dining table set with daisies and flickering tea lights.
Then, with a call to begin, everyone took their seats. Strangers shook hands with their neighbors as Swim bounded out from behind the stove. “Tonight,” he announced, with wife Emily by his side, “is about celebrating fall in Texas!”
At that, the parade of harvest dishes began. Steaming bowls of Fennel Soup were followed by plates of Butternut Squash Risotto flecked with sage from Swim’s own garden. Braised Grass Finished Beef was served alongside the season’s first tender Brussels sprouts. Each course was matched with a Texas wine, and the aforementioned beignets (dipped in sumptuous salted caramel) completed the feast.
By meal’s end, spirits were high and new acquaintances had become fast friends. Everyone was buzzing about attending future FCC dinners or perhaps even opening their home to play host for a night.
Back in the kitchen, Swim relaxed with his sous chefs Josh Eason and Jonathan Boyd while enjoying a glass of wine.
With one year on the books, he’s looking forward to what the future holds for this socially and ecologically-conscious organization. “I believe that if we continue to invite people to slow down and savor the joys of the table, they will continue to support our events,” he explained. “People recognize that when they support Food Creates Community they are not only supporting [my business], but the farmers, producers, and businesses that lay the foundation of who we are.”
For more information on Food Creates Community, including announcements of upcoming events, visit foodcreatescommunity.blogspot.com.