In his 2011 release Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life (Harper Collins), Thich Nhat Hanh reminds the reader that, “When practiced to its fullest, mindful eating turns a simple meal into a spiritual experience, giving us a deep appreciation of all that went into the meal’s creation as well a deep understanding of the relationship between the food on our table, our own health, and our planet’s health.” The team at Boston’s Post 390 seem to be (quietly) sharing the beloved Zen Master’s teachings with the public through their popular Farm to Post dinner series. Pictured above is a fresh catch from Spearpoint Oysters, one of the many food innovators being saluted in this month’s tribute (held on July 27th) to Martha’s Vineyard. Others contributing to that evening’s menu were, The Farm Institute and also Grey Barn Farm in Chilmark. The dinners function as celebratory kick-offs to Post 390’s specialty menus woven in throughout the year as a complement to their staple food and beverage selections.
When practiced to its fullest, mindful eating turns a simple meal into a spiritual experience, giving us a deep appreciation of all that went into the meal’s creation as well a deep understanding of the relationship
It’s great to see mindfully staged dining adventures such as this answering the swelling call for deeper experiences with food and drink. Before guests are seated family style, Farm to Post dinners open with a spirited cocktail gathering meant for mingling and a preview of the evening’s treats. Beyond the thoughtful menus rich with food and wine, the crowd of curious diners on hand further lends to the communal vibe of these multi-course Farm to Post dinners. The kindred spirits in attendance are there to celebrate food – to engage with a host of fine ingredients of course, but also to engage with others who regard sharing a meal as a sacred experience. Simply Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms over zucchini noodles and grilled native corn topped with a local poached egg, a Crown Rib Roast of whey-fed heritage pork with an oyster bread stuffing and a sour cherry compote, Prufrock washed-rind cheese. From course one straight through to dessert…. guests linger and savor the nuances of each dish (and each wine). Many of the evening’s purveyors are actually in attendance as well, offering an intimate forum for personally sharing their insights and passions for the food they so skillfully execute.
Among those guests on hand for the Martha’s Vineyard evening is Zach Silberman, a first-year medical student in attendance with his parents. In conversation, it is quickly clear that they, like most folks in the room, hold this concept of “breaking bread” in an almost holy light. He put the evening’s experience this way, “My thought on these Farm to Post dinners at Post 390 is that they are an interesting way to experience the regional foods of Massachusetts in an open setting.” He would “definitely attend again” and recommends that guests acclimate themselves with each dinner’s focus before signing on.
Again, the culinary team at Post 390 uses these dinners as a “launch” to their ever evolving restaurant menu. After these Farm to Post evenings wrap, the chefs then blend elements of the dinners’ offerings into the menu they share with the general public. Their May Farm to Post dinner feted Dogpatch Farm in Washington, Maine, and many of the dishes from that evening, such as Tre Porcellini Risotto with house-cured brown sugar ham, lived on over the summer months on the restaurant’s daily menu. This natural extension continues to pulse the deep connections between our own well being and our planet’s.
Tickets are now on sale for the two remaining dinners in the series – a September 14th salute to the harvest at Kimball Fruit Farm and a Novemberfest taking place on November 2nd. Visit Post 390’s website for availability. Post 390 is located in the Back Bay at 406 Stuart Street.