Appetizer board at Sweet P’s first “farm to table” meal.
You gotta hand it to the guys at Sweet P’s Barbeque and Soul House. When they come up with a concept, they are going to see it through no matter what.
Case in point: Owners Chris and Jonathan Ford wanted to show support and encouragement to their cooks, Josh Russell and Eddie Faircloth, and their idea to offer occasional “farm to table” meals at the restaurant, which usually sticks pretty close to traditional barbecue fare. Never mind that we are smack dab in the dead of winter, and there’s not all that much available on the farms. On Monday, Feb. 3, a few friends and family members gathered at the cozy Maryville Pike eatery for a practice run of the farm-to-table concept. Guess what? It was fabulous!
“Part of the success of Sweet P’s is due to the people who work here,” Chris Ford said at the opening of the meal. “Josh and Eddie wanted to be creative and we are experimenting on you!”
Russell said a core tenet of the meal was the focus on locally produced products. “Unfortunately, we picked the most difficult season, but that forced us to step outside the box,” he said. Faircloth explained that 50 percent of the menu items originated within a 30-mile radius of the restaurant.
The plan is to offer these meals either quarterly or bimonthly — limited to not more than 25 customers at each meal. After sampling the winter meal, I can only imagine how delicious the spring, summer and fall repasts will be.
Andrew Crawford greeted guests with a platter of mushroom pate drizzled with truffle oil. The mushrooms were from Monterey Mushrooms in nearby Loudon.
Chris Ford’s wife, Kari, approved.
We sat down for the first course. Even the mustard in the center of the board was made in-house. All the breads came from Flour Head Bakery.
Pickled purple top turnips from Chilhowee View Farms.
I loved these delicate zucchini pickles served with the charcuterie.
Killed lettuce salad made with oak leaf and multi-leaf lettuce from King’s Hydrofarm in South Knoxville. Killed lettuce salad is a traditional Appalachian recipe using rendered bacon and apple cider vinegar.
Rabbit braised in Highland’s Oatmeal Porter was served with stuffed dumplings and braised collard greens from Chilhowee View Farms.
I can’t eat rabbit, so Alan quickly snatched mine off my plate. As you can see, I ate everything else!
We took a break before dessert.
Alan’s favorite course was a Celebrity apple from Carver’s Orchard in Cosby poached in Prichard’s whiskey and Tarkin Valley sorghum molasses served with preserved walnuts and cream.
Yes, preserved walnuts — shells and all! They gave us a jar.
The team, from left: Eddie Faircloth, Chris Ford, co-owner Jonathan Ford, and Josh Russell.
Sweet P’s manager Robert Baker and Madeline Pace
Bedros Bozdogan, left, of Sysco, and his brother-in-law, Baron Rothchild of Event Rentals (Do you think they were pulling my leg about that name?)
Eddie Faircloth’s mother, Vanessa Byrge with Jeff Hooper.
Chris Ford’s proud parents, Dawn and Richard Ford, enjoying the meal.
Dawn and Richard Ford with guests Marty and Jim Begalla
A Ford family photo – ha!
Joy Lauderdale, left, and Dani Collins of Lauderdale Design Group.
I love this!