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Food & Drink: Farm-to-table feast to reflect harvest

Celebrate fall equinox amid vineyards at Flat Tack Farm

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For centuries, the autumn equinox has been celebrated all over the world. Farmers, and those fortunate to join in their bounty, gather to thank the gods of the harvest by enjoying a final feast before settling into the long nights of winter.

This Saturday, you can celebrate the autumn equinox and go on your own personal journey into fall amid the vineyards of Heathen Estate at Flat Tack Farm’s Autumn Harvest Farm to Table Dinner.

A successful harvest is the result of the four elements (earth, fire, water and air) joining together to create a rainbow of produce. It’s fitting that chef Miguel Sosa, whose downtown Vancouver restaurant is called Elements, will be working his culinary alchemy for this fall celebration.

The event starts at 4:30 p.m. with a farm tour followed by a social hour with drinks and appetizers at 5:15 p.m. A family-style dinner begins at 6 p.m. Flat Tack is known for its abundant variety of peppers. Farmer Kelly Peters also expects to have greens, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn and squash for the feast, as well as herbs, gooseberries and blackberries.

Sosa won’t have a final menu until the event. He will visit Flat Tack Farm for several weeks to figure out what will be available and find inspiration. He’s thinking of making cochinita pibil (a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatan Peninsula) in an underground fire pit with Flat Tack peppers, or maybe Reister Farms lamb birria (a spicy stew from the Mexican state of Jalisco) braised low and slow.

Sosa’s daily vegan menu at Elements is filled with sumptuous plant-based dishes. He likes to play with his veggies and incorporate a bit of molecular gastronomy. A salad with carrots may have the carrots vertically poking out of the plate as if they were growing out of the ground. A dish may be ringed with a necklace of plump balsamic vinegar pearls that pop open on your tongue. The vegan dish for this event may be a terrine, gratin or etouffee. This chef won’t commit to anything until he has fresh vegetables in hand. Boozy beverages, including a farm-to-ferment carrot and fruity basil beer called Wabbit Saison, will be provided by Burnt Bridge Cellars, Heathen Estate and Heathen Brewing to ward off the late September chill.

There isn’t a dress code. Informal outdoor farm-to-table dining attire (or whatever you feel like wearing) is fine. Boots are good for the farm tour, and it’s wise to bring a sweater to throw across your shoulders as the weather dips. There’s a common misconception that Elements is a special-occasion restaurant that requires dressing up. Sosa hopes this event will show that his restaurant is just an indoor farm dinner.

“I want people to go to the farm and know they can go like that to Elements,” he said.

If You Go

What: Autumn Harvest Farm to Table Dinner hosted by Flat Tack Farm, Elements Restaurant, Heathen Estate and Heathen Brewing.

When: 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 21.

Where: Heathen Estate, 9400 N.E. 134th St., Vancouver.

Cost: $100 per person, which includes all food and drink. Tickets available at eventbrite.com/e/autumn-harvest-feast-tickets-70581572383?aff=ebdshpsearchautocomplete or facebook.com/events/917305701964886.

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