WHIM Dinners 2014

2015 Schedule

Celebrating Our 5th Season!

Whim is a unique “pop up” dining experience held at Smolak Farms every Wednesday evening  from July 8 – August 19. Join some of New England’s finest chefs as they cook you a multi-course dinner in the rough, in the Smolak Farms Pine Grove.   A Farm to Table experience, all produce is grown on our Farm so you will experience the seasonal fresh fruits, berries and vegetables. Menus will be posted two weeks before each dinner.  The Chef will create their menu on a “Whim” based on the produce available from Smolak Farms.

For a listing of all tickets: http://smolakfarmsevents.eventbrite.com

Registration begins at 6:00pm
First Course is served at 7:00pm
Beverages are purchased at the event (please do not bring your own.)
PLEASE NOTE: Menu’s are subject to change based on availability and the Chef’s “whim.” 
 Also, tax and tip is not included in pricing.   No refunds on tickets after they have been purchased.                                  

 Media Sponsor:

northshore magazine

  2015 Whim Guest Chefs

July 8 –  Chef Danny Azzarello – Burtons Grill  –  SOLD OUT


First Course:
Slow roasted Pork Ribs
Ancho corn bread, baked beans
Paired with Folie a Deux Zinfandel

Second Course:
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
 Heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, pickled Strawberries,
lemon zest, local greens, strawberry vinaigrette, almond brittle

Paired with Harpoon Summer Ale Shandy

Third Course:
Roasted Tenderloin of Beef & Maine Lobster
Confit potatoes, wild baby mushrooms, pink peppercorn champagne butter

Paired with Sangito, muddled oranges, limes, blackberries and mint

Fourth Course:
Warmed Cider Donut Pudding
with lemon Chantilly cream
Paired with Joel Gott Riesling

Danny Azzarello began his restaurant career at a young age over 13 years ago.  He began managing back of the house operations for Outback Steakhouse in 2001 and worked in multiple units all over the Northeast Region.  In 2006, he continued his culinary education by taking a position with The Cheesecake Factory as Executive Chef of the Burlington, MA location.  Danny helped the restaurant achieve the highest sales in the Northeast territory during that time.  In 2007, Danny was offered an Executive Chef position with Burtons Grill, a Massachusetts based restaurant group. Through hard work and dedication, Danny was eventually named Director of Culinary Operations in 2010 where he currently holds a position.  Danny has direct influence in the creation of menus, major purchasing decisions, training of new management and overall management of the culinary operations of the business, and has been in charge of opening eight new Burtons Grill locations in four different states during his time. Danny’s partner for the Whim Dinner Series is Food and Beverage Manager Dan Greenough, a veteran of restaurants on both the East and West coast and former Executive Chef at Burtons Grill of Hingham. Dan oversees all recipe development, execution of food and beverage and overall culinary vision for Burtons Grill.   The two have teamed up with the culinary team at our North Andover location to make this dinner unforgettable!

July 15 – Chef  Peter Davis,  Henrietta’s Table – SOLD OUT


Smolak Farms Tomato and Arugula Salad
Maplebrook Farm Mozzarella, Basil Oil, Golden balsamic Syrup

Smoked Cape Cod Bluefish Pate
Mustard Pickled Vegetables, Smolak Farms Head Lettuce, Grilled Toasts

Pulled Farm School Pork
Grilled Smolak Farms Kale Salad, Sweet Corn Succotashz
-OR- (please choose when ordering tickets)
Farro, Quinoa, Lentil Heirloom Bean and Smolak Farms Vegetable Chili
Jalapeno Cilantro Oil

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Chef Davis, whose motto is “fresh and honest,” as in “fresh from the farm and honest to goodness New England cooking,” came to The Charles with impressive credentials from around the world. After working in highly-ranked international hotels including the Hyatt-Singapore, the Bali Hyatt, the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong, and the Beverly Hills Peninsula, he returned to his native city of Boston to become Executive Chef at The Charles Hotel in 1995. An avid conservationist with close ties to the fishing and farming communities of New England, Chef Davis was also one of the first proponents of the use of organic and sustainable products, and he will not use any genetically engineered foods or products at Henrietta’s Table. A true “working chef,” heavily involved in the daily operations of the restaurant, the opening of Henrietta’s Table was a lifelong ambition.In fall 2008, Chef Davis released his first cookbook, Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table (Three Bean Press, LLC, © November 2008). A true work of passion, the beautiful cookbook is a monument to Chef Davis’ love of delicious, fresh foods and the New England farmers and producers who supply them.

July 22 – Chef Matt Mahoney, The Butcher Shop
For Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whim-dinner-series-the-butcher-shop-chef-matt-mahoney-tickets-16741036892


Tomato, Boquerones Frito 
farm greens, buttermilk dressing, rye crouton 

Watercress Soup,
corn custard,  bacon

Pecan smoked pork bratwurst, (from  Burnshirt Valley Farm in Barre MA)
charred summer vegetable succotash, salsa verde, cornbread with sorghum butter

Peach Buckle
with basil creme fraiche

Matt Mahoney is the Chef de Cuisine at The Butcher Shop, Chef Barbara Lynch’s full-service butchery and wine bar in Boston’s South End. Matt grew up in Massachusetts and realized at age 15 while working in the kitchen of a local diner that he wanted to pursue a culinary career. He spent the next 10 years cooking around America before enrolling in New England Culinary Institute, immersing himself in the fundamentals of cooking technique. Today Matt specializes in charcuterie and sausage-making and is both a trained butcher and chef; making him a high commodity in the culinary world. At the Butcher Shop, Matt works hard to forge relationships with farmers to secure the best meats and produce for the restaurant’s dining room and retail shop. He also encourages his team to occasionally get out of the kitchen and visit farms and animals, through The Butcher Shop’s innovative paddock to table responsibility program.

July 29 – Chef Jay Murray, Grill 23 – SOLD OUT


Cucumber & Gooseberry Gazpacho
Jonah crab meat, spearmint spritz

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta
littleneck, warm bacon & braised celery vinaigrette  

Prime Brandt Beef
marinated tomatoes, charred scallion puree, cheese croutons

White Chocolate Cheesecake
peak of the summer fruits, caramel popcorn

Since 1998, Jay Murray has been the executive chef of Grill 23 & Bar. Canadian-born Murray discovered his passion for food at a young age, recalling early forays in the kitchen alongside his parents who ran a cooking school in Darien, Connecticut. Murray has worked under Gabino Sotelino at Chicago’s Un Grand Café, and then at some of New England’s top inns: first, at the Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts and then at the acclaimed Stonehedge Inn’s restaurant, Silks, in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. Murray’s philosophy of cuisine is simple and focused, harmonizing very specific and assertive flavors in each dish he creates. At Grill 23 & Bar, Murray skillfully balances innovation with tradition and elevates the concept of the classic American steakhouse. Under Murray’s helm, Grill 23 & Bar has received praise and recognition by local and national publications, including “Top Steakhouse” by Zagat, Best Steakhouse in Boston by The Improper Bostonian, Boston Magazine and New England Travel & Life.

August 5 – Chef Danny Levesque, Davios – SOLD OUT


Baby Smolak Farms Green Salad
baby beets, lite summer truffle vinaigrette

Hand-Rolled Potato Gnocchi
summer squash, zucchini, basil, parmigiano, lemon thyme

Grilled Salmon
eggplant caponata
– or-
Vegetarian Alternative
Caponata, Grilled Zucchini, Summer Squash, Corn

Panna Cotta
Grilled Smolak Farms Peaches


Executive Chef Danny Levesque started his career growing up in a French and Italian neighborhood in Cambridge, MA. This community revolved around food and wine. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, training his skills in Italy and France. Accordingly to Levesque, the experience was eye opening due to the differences of emphasis on cuisine and the seriousness of how peoples lives revolved around the preparations of food. In Nice, his class would go out to the gardens and pick fresh herbs and vegetables for the days lesson. It really was a lesson about the beauty of a lifestyle, according to Levesque. This enjoyment compelled him to study at the Cambridge School of culinary arts. From there he also proceed to study in the south of France at the Julia Child/Simca Beck School in Nice, France.

For his first job, Chef Levesque started working for an Italian restaurant called Marino’s in Cambridge, MA. Climbing through the ranks he not only realized his natural talent but also enjoyed every minute of being in the kitchen. He dove into every aspect of the business, from bread baking and pastry making to catering. Everything was prepared from scratch and the restaurant owner owned a farm in Natick, MA where most of the produce was utilized from.

Upon coming home, Levesque decided to continue his training working at some of Boston’s top restaurants including two of Boston’s 4 star restaurants, Upstairs at the Pudding and The Bay Tower Room. Levesque then joined the Tavistock restaurant group working at Abe and Louie’s steak house in Boston and Aqua Knox in Las Vegas as well as being the executive chef at Boston best fish house, Atlantic Fish Company, where he was for the last six years, winning multiple awards and recognitions. The Atlantic Fish Co. delivers some of the most creative fish preparations in the seafood capital of the country.

As Executive Chef of Davio’s Lynnfield, Levesque is excited to bring his knowledge of Italian cuisine and seafood to the restaurant and team.

August 12 – Chef Eric Brennan, Post 390 – SOLD OUT



First Course:
Seared New Bedford Sea Scallop
hot and sour ratatouille

Second Course:
Stone Fruit Gazpacho
la quercia prosciutto americana

Third Course:
Brandt Rib Eye Cap Steak
heirloom tomato Greek salad, goat’s milk feta,
grilled rosemary flatbread

Fourth Course:
Chess Pie
sweet corn creme anglaise, raspberry sorbet, balsamic reduction

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Brennan brings  years of classic technique and training combined with a deep appreciation for local ingredients. Eric landed in Boston in 1989 as Chef de Cuisine at Aujourd’hui in the Four Seasons. This led to a 12 year career with the luxury hotel group, including appointments as Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara and the Toronto flagship hotel where he ran 3 restaurants, private dining rooms, banquets and room service. Through his tenure as Executive Chef as several prestigious Boston restaurants, including The Federalist and Harvest, Eric earned a reputation for his savory hand-crafted American cuisine, expert technique and deep-rooted relationships with farmers. At Post 390 Eric puts a contemporary twist on the traditional tavern experience, with seasonally inspired dishes that reflect his passion for fresh ingredients and unforgettable flavors.

August 19 – Chef Mark Sapienza, The Langham  – SOLD OUT

Passed assorted appetizers

First Course:
Kale, almond and plum salad
Great Hill dairy blue and house smoked bacon

Second Course:
Grilled Block Island Swordfish
Spaghettini, tomato, eggplant, basil
Gloucester sea salt, chili oil and garlic crumbs

Third Course :
Grilled Maine Family Farms Beef Tri-Tip
Sweet corn pudding, charred snap beans and molho verde

Fourth Course: 
Nectarine Butter Cake
Lavender honey, raspberries and pistachio ice cream

Take Away Gift:
Peaches and cream streusel muffin

Executive Chef Mark Sapienza began his career as a chef at a small Italian tratoria while attending Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Upon graduating with honors in 1984 with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, he became Chef Tournant of the nationally recognized Apley’s restaurant in the Sheraton, Boston, later joining Horizon Hotels as an Executive Sous Chef.
Traveling the nation with Horizon Hotels, Chef Sapienza worked at a number of properties including the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida; the Montauk Yacht Club and Inn in Montauk, New York; and Arrowood of Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. His career with Horizon later created an opportunity for Chef Sapienza to work at the world renowned Claridge’hotel in London, England.
Upon his return from London in 1988, Chef Sapienza settled in Boston and began working at the five-star Boston Harbor Hotel. Following an 8-year career as Executive Sous chef for the hotel, he was appointed Executive Chef of Le Meredien Hotel, located in Boston’s bustling financial district. The hotel became The Langham, Boston in 2003, where Chef Sapienza continues to oversee the Kitchen today.
As Executive Chef of The Langham, Boston, Chef Sapienza hones his skills and wealth of knowledge directing three dining venues and numerous banquet events. His culinary creations, primarily made with fresh, in-season New England ingredients, span a number of cuisines such as New American, Italian and French. In BOND Restaurant | Lounge Chef Sapienza’s menu pairs with a chic, metropolitan atmosphere while the menu in the recently opened Reserve features fare that pairs with champagne, wine and good conversation. Café Fleuri features The Langham’s famous Saturday Chocolate Bar and Sunday City Brunch.
Chef Sapienza and his restaurants have received numerous accolades over the years. He has presented a dinner at The James Beard House in New York and was selected to prepare a dinner with Jacque Pepin for Julia Child’s Legion of Honor reception at Julien in 2000.  This is Chef Sapienza’s second year at WHIM.