Garden to Gourmet

Whim is a unique 11-week “pop up” dining experience held every Wednesday evening from June 12 to August 28 at Smolak Farms in North Andover.  Join some of New England’s finest Chefs as they cook you a multi-course dinner in the Smolak Farms Pine Grove.  A “Farm to Table” experience, all produce is grown at our farm so you will experience the seasonal fresh fruits, berries and vegetables.  Menus will be posted at least 2 weeks before each dinner.  The Guest Chefs will create their menus on a “Whim” based on the freshest produce available from Smolak Farms

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2019 Whim Dinner Series Lineup:

6/12: JK Food Group’s Farm Dinner with Toro, Coppa, and Little Donkey (Menu)
6/19: Herb Lyceum/Puritan + Co., Chef Will Gilson (Menu)
6/26: Woodman’s of Essex, Chef Ned Grieg (Menu)
7/10: Post 390, Chef Nick Deutmeyer (Menu)
7/17: The Smoke Shop, Chef Andy Husbands (Menu)
7/24: 110 Grill, Director of Culinary Elliot Williams (Menu)
7/31: Harvest, Chef Tyler Kinnett (Menu)
8/7: Ledger Salem, Chef Daniel Gursha (Menu)
8/14: Alto Forno, Chef Matthew Marquis (Menu)
8/21: Tonno/Prezza, Chef Anthony Caturano (Menu)
8/28: Matadora, Chef Stephen Coe (Menu)

Purchase Tickets Here!


Below are a few details, FAQs, and guidelines for our Whim Dinner Series.

  • Check-in, seating, and the bar open at 5:30 pm
  • First Course is served at 6:30 pm
  • Whim dinners take place under the Event tent and are held rain or shine!
  • Beverages (soft drinks, beer and wine) are available for purchase at the event.
  • Please do not bring your own alcohol
  • Menus are subject to change based on seasonal produce availability, and of course, the Chef’s Whim!
  • There is NO Service fee to purchase tickets through Event Bee. (Smolak pays fee)
  • The gratuity for your servers is NOT included in ticket price.
  • NO ticket refunds after they have been purchased.
  • Menus will be posted on website as soon as they are available.

Tickets are $85/pp + tax. Total cost including meals tax is $90.95. For more information or to request special seating requests, please call 978.682.6332 (ext 0) or email whim@smolakfarms.com.

Tickets are also available for purchase in the Farm Stand at:
Smolak Farms
315 South Bradford Street
North Andover, MA 01845


June 12, 2019

JK Food Group’s Farm Dinner with:
Toro (Chef Josh Elliott)
Coppa (Brian Rae)
Little Donkey (Pastry Chef Kevin Walsh)

Chef Josh Elliott was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas where traditional Southern hospitality was ingrained in him from a young age. Food, drinks and family were the fabric of his formative years, and by the age of 16 he had taken a job as a dishwasher at the local Pizza Hut. After deciding to make it a profession, he moved to South Florida and dove head first into a line-cook job at The Village Grill in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. He worked every station on the line and all positions in the kitchen as well as multiple positions in the front of the house, ensuring he fully grasped the industry.

Elliott’s passion was further realized with his enrollment at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida. During his time at culinary school, he worked full-time in some of Miami’s most revered restaurants and graduated summa cum laude. After holding positions at Eos Restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel under Chef Michael Psilakis and Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne in the JW Marriott Marquis, Elliott caught the attention of chef Jose Mendin, who recognized his desire, talent and leadership potential. Elliott was soon promoted to Sous Chef within the acclaimed Pubbelly restaurant group. He went on to open the Hilton Cabana and its signature restaurant L’echon Brasserie as Executive Chef. His time in South Florida was punctuated by two years as the Chef de Cuisine at the iconic Raleigh Hotel.

Elliott was thrilled to head north in 2018 to work with James Beard award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. At Toro, in Boston’s South End, he currently leads the team as the Executive Chef, cooking both traditional and modern Barcelona inspired tapas. Elliott is a proud husband and father of two little boys.

Chef Brian Rae grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut. After high school, he was off to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. With his degree in hand, he started his career in his hometown, at Bernard’s and The Elms Inn.

A zealous young chef, Rae began his introduction to serious seafood with Chef Steve Cavagnaro at Nantucket’s long-standing seafood institution, Straight Wharf Restaurant. Cavagnaro’s simple approach to food taught Rae how to best utilize and highlight ingredients.

Seeking more experience in a culinary city, Rae joined the opening team for Rick Moonen’s first Vegas restaurant, RM Seafood, as Sous Chef. After a year, Moonen promoted Rae to Chef de Cuisine of the fine dining arm of the two-in-one restaurant. Under Moonen, Rae continued his extensive training in seafood, with a focus on sustainability, and further developed his ingredient-driven sensibility.

A 2008 StarChefs Rising Star, Rae joined the team at Rialto in November 2009 and assumed the role of Chef de Cuisine in 2010. He joined the opening team at Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street Café in 2014 as Executive Chef, overseeing the Italian-leaning menu at the neighborhood favorite.

He was the opening chef at Les Sablons in Harvard Square before taking the helm at Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s Italian enoteca, Coppa in the South End.


June 19, 2019

Herb Lyceum/Puritan + Co., Chef Will Gilson
Chef Will Gilson began his career at age 15, when he apprenticed with Chef Charles Draghi at Marcuccio’s in the North End.  He completed his formal culinary arts training at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where his expert wine knowledge won him the 2004 R.C. Knopf Student Achievement Scholarship, which funded a three-month tour of wineries in Napa Valley, Venice and Paris. Gilson has had stages at Oleana in Inman Square, Silks at the Stonehedge Inn outside of Lowell, and at the restaurant of London’s most exclusive hotel, The Lanesborough.
Gilson began making his name in the Boston area in 2007, when he opened the Garden at the Cellar, a mid-priced restaurant that quickly built up a large following in Cambridge.  He left in 2011, as a leader on the forefront of the pop-up restaurant movement in Boston, to introduce a series of successful restaurant ventures, including Eat @ Adrian’s located on the Cape during Summer 2011.
However, it was at the Herb Lyceum at his family farm in Groton, where farm to table cooking truly became second nature for the burgeoning chef. Gilson was only 17 years old when he began cooking there, and the experience set the foundation for his appreciation for farm fresh produce and the merit of seasonal cooking.
Gilson’s time at the Herb Lyceum has molded the direction of Puritan & Co., where guests will find touches of his familial hospitality and their passion for herbs sprinkled throughout their experience. It is here that Gilson introduces his dream of owning a refined yet rustic neighborhood restaurant starring the farmer’s market fare he grew up with as a local farmer’s son has become a reality.
In his spare time, Gilson can be found tending to his labor of love for making charcuterie and uploading photos to Instagram that showcase his travels to food cities. He is an avid reader of vintage cookbooks and has amassed a lively Twitter following that includes the local Boston area press. He believes wild boar is under-appreciated and his favorite vegetable is the parsnip. He is not above restaurant hopping in a pig costume should the occasion so require.

June 26, 2019

Woodman’s of Essex, Chef Ned Grieg

Essex Room Executive Chef Ned Grieg, joined us in 2013 after spending years cooking across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Chef Ned is extensive knowledge of culinary diversity revitalized our menu options by infusing new flavors and inspired cuisine to our traditional New England fare. Chef Ned is constantly updating and adding culinary creations that have received high praise from everyone. He has been essential in creating menu options that appeal to all, including those with strict dietary restrictions.

 

 

 

 

 


July 10, 2019

Post 390, Chef Nick Deutmeyer

As the Chef de Cuisine of Post 390 in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Nick Deutmeyer, 34, heads the culinary team, maintaining and elevating the level of excellence that has been part of Post 390 since the restaurant’s inception in 2009.

Nick grew up on a dairy farm in Dyersville, Iowa, where he learned the skills and ethics that influence his work at Post 390. After spending time experiencing and researching cuisine in Rome, Italy and rural Austria, he attended culinary school at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont before moving farther south in New England, landing at Himmel Hospitality Group’s Harvest Restaurant, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After four years as Lead Line Cook then Sous Chef at Harvest – during which he was given the opportunity to showcase his craft at The James Beard House in New York City – Nick was brought over to the restaurant group’s newest restaurant, Post 390, as part of the opening team.

His work with the region’s top farmers – acquainting them with the restaurant and showcasing their products on his menus – has separated him from his peers and allowed him to grow within the kitchen team. Nick has a great passion for the ingredients he uses and works tirelessly to ensure the best, freshest and most seasonal items are delivered daily to Post 390’s kitchen.

Charity of Choice:
CameroonONE has developed a program to confront the orphan crisis in the Republic of Cameroon. Our In-Home Child Sponsorships are designed to support an orphaned child’s surviving relatives with a goal to keep families together while making the orphan communes available for only the direst circumstances. Relatives taking on the parental responsibilities of a niece, nephew, or young cousin will do so on a conditional basis. Each household receives a per annum, circumstantially determined stipend (a pre-determined monetary sum, PTA school fees, as well as material goods essential to Cameroonian daily life) with full understanding that it will be conditional and made available with certain requirements and stipulations include that the child attend a decent school and maintain certain expectations in their evaluations, and that he or she is fully vaccinated and receives whatever healthcare that may be specific to their personal needs. This project can both reduce short-term poverty by directly providing a partial income to the impoverished and those most in need and ultimately fight long-term poverty by creating a more productive and competent future human capital among parentless children who may have received little or no education.

 


July 17, 2019

The Smoke Shop BBQ with Chef Andy Husbands

Andy Husbands is the award-winning chef, author, and Pitmaster behind The Smoke Shop, Boston’s acclaimed barbecue restaurant and winner of Boston Magazine’s 2018 “Best Barbecue Restaurant,” and “Best Barbecue 2018” by The Improper Bostonian. With locations in Kendall Square, the Seaport District and Somerville’s Assembly Row, Husbands is “smoking” the competition. After nearly 30 years in the restaurant industry, Pitmaster Andy Husbands serves as one of the city’s most celebrated culinary leaders and foremost authority on regional Barbecue and live-fire cooking in New England.

After nearly 2 decades of competing in the BBQ circuit, Husbands debuted his first Smoke Shop location in Cambridge’s Kendall Square in 2016. A long-time passion project for Husbands, The Smoke Shop culminates his years of practice, research, and continued success as a World Barbeque Champion, serving a menu that showcases his modern approach to slow-cooked, old school-style barbecue. Husbands expanded with the opening of the restaurant’s second outpost the following year in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston’s Seaport District, and in summer 2018, he introduced his third location of The Smoke Shop in Somerville’s Assembly Row, located just North of downtown Boston.

Hailed “Boston’s Meat Maven” by The Boston Globe, Husbands first came into the national spotlight competing on Season 6 of FOX Television Network’s fiery Hell’s Kitchen, and has since appeared on CBS This Morning, The Food Network and Fox & Friends. He is the co-founder of internationally-recognized BBQ team, IQUE BBQ, which became the first New England team to win the World Champions of BBQ Title in 2009 at the Jack Daniels World Championship in Tennessee, and has co-authored five coveted cookbooks, including “Wicked Good Burgers,” “Wicked Good BBQ,” “Grill to Perfection,” “The Fearless Chef,” and his latest, “Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques & Barbecue Wisdom,” recently awarded “Book of the Year” by National Barbeque News.

Deeply rooted in the community, Husbands passionately drives awareness for Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading childhood hunger relief organization, serving as honorary chair of its annual Taste of the Nation fundraiser. He is also an active board member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, for which he was honored as MRA’s Chef of the Year in 2014, as well as a Rodman Celebration Restaurant Chair.

In his spare time, Husbands enjoys volunteering at local organizations including Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place, and, most importantly, spending time with his wife, Rice, and their twin girls, at their home in Stoneham, MA.


July 24, 2019

110 Grill, Director of Culinary Elliot Williams

Elliot Williams joined 110 Grill in November of 2016 as the Director of Culinary.

Elliot started on his vocation, while attending The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia pursuing a degree in Restaurant Management. While in culinary school, he obtained a position as a sauté cook at a polished-casual micro-brewery. He fell in love with the culinary arts and quickly worked his way up to Sous Chef within 2 years.

He went on to a second Sous Chef position, becoming part of an opening team for a privately owned, polished-casual restaurant at their first location on the East Coast. This new venture had locations in 6 states with sales averaging $10 million a year per location. Elliot’s talents and passion were recognized and earned him a promotion to the Executive Chef for the concept’s Chicago, IL location. Over the next ten years, Elliot successfully opened multiple restaurants across four states for this organization.

Elliot was thrilled by the opportunities this presented. He was able to work alongside many talented chefs from different cultures and backgrounds. With each chef from various culinary traditions, including traditional American, German and Korean; he gained knowledge and skill in ethnic fares, execution and artistry.

Over that time, Elliot began to define himself as a chef that focuses on gastronomy to create and combine an array of cuisines and techniques in order to put his own twist on traditional dishes.

Elliot’s passion for food and growth continues at 110 Grill. He has taken his allergy proficiency and cooking expertise to the next level, helping to create the entire core menu to be available 100% gluten free.


July 31, 2019

Harvest with Executive Chef Tyler Kinnett

Tyler Kinnett currently helms the kitchen at Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts as Executive Chef. At the age of 16, Kinnett began his career the hospitality industry, working his way up at a restaurant inside The Golf Club of Yankee Trace in his home state of Ohio. At 19, he moved to Vermont, working part-time at various restaurants while attending the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier.

Upon graduating from culinary school in 2009, Kinnett began his career in Boston under the tutelage of Gordon Hamersley, where he served as garde manger intern at the city’s famed Hamersley’s Bistro. Following that, he worked at Fenway Park for the 2010 season as a cook in the EMC Club. He moved on to assume the role as chef de partie at Sel de la Terre in Long Wharf, eventually working his way up to sous chef in just eight months. Under Chef Geoff Gardner at Sel de la Terre, Kinnett learned to never stop pursuing greatness through high standards and hard work, as well as the skillset of running a kitchen and restaurant. In spring 2012, he returned to Fenway Park to help run the catering department for the season, where he was able to work with a number of talented Boston chefs.

Kinnett joined the team at Harvest in 2012 as a sous chef, where he was able to showcase his produce-driven cooking and fresh, regional ingredients to develop vibrant flavors in a seasonally rotating menu, and he quickly moved up the ranks. Throughout his time at Harvest, Kinnett took a short sabbatical to work at Paul Kahan’s Publican (Chicago) and also spent time in the kitchen of Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred Per Se (New York City).

While holding the position of Executive Sous Chef, Kinnett played a major role in shaping Harvest’s new six-course tasting menu for the restaurant’s reopening after a brief closure in January 2015 for interior renovations.

In May 2015, Kinnett was appointed to the position of Executive Chef at Harvest, taking the reins of the New England culinary institution as it prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Kinnett lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. In his free time, he likes to immerse himself in cookbooks, dig through his record collection, and check out Boston’s bustling restaurant scene.

Charity of Choice:
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in six children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.


August 7, 2019

Ledger Salem, Chef Daniel Gursha and Pastry Chef Michelle Boland

Chef Daniel Gursha first fell in love with food amongst the simmering pots and exotic flavors of his Egyptian grandmother’s home cooking in West Roxbury, uniquely contrasted by his summers spent fishing on Cape Cod.

After pursuing a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Gursha traveled the globe honing his eclectic style. First training in several Boston restaurants, he headed to Copenhagen where he worked in the kitchen at two Michelin starred noma, where he learned to forage for ingredients in the forests and coastal shoals of Denmark. Continuing on to Paris, he staged with three Michelin starred chef, Alain Senderens.

Feeling an irresistible pull home, Gursha returned stateside where he worked in New York as sous chef at Michelin starred Bouley followed by a time at A Voce before coming back to Boston as Chef de Cuisine at Bambara in Cambridge, and finally joining the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro as Executive Chef. He soon headed for the North Shore to take a position as the Executive Chef at Ledger in Salem.

During the warmer months, you might run into Gursha walking his rescue Cane Corso, Kane, while picking up some super fresh, local ingredients from the farmer’s market.

Growing up, Michelle Boland found solace and excitement in the arts, spending her time throughout her adolescence exploring creative outlets like drawing and sculpting. Still today, Boland maintains this creativity in her professional career, reimagining the fun desserts of her childhood and quickly developing a reputation as the North Shore’s doughnut queen.

This delicious harmony of art and food was realized in college when Boland attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Earning her degree in Applied Science in Baking & Pastry Arts, Boland discovered she could express her childhood creativity through food, specifically using pastries as her medium. While attending J&W, she gained a knowledgeable repertoire in everything from the endearing technique required for baking bread and French pastries, to the intricacies of sugar sculpting and chocolate.

Combining these skills in food sculpting and modeling, and her extensive knowledge of baking, Boland began her career as a Pastry Chef Intern at iconic French restaurant, L’Espalier. She then ventured up to Newburyport, taking on a role as baker at Eat Cake!, and later become a recipe developer at New England Ice Lollies. In 2013, she took the next leap in her career, joining the Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse team as their Chestnut Hill location Pastry Chef. Staying with the team while advancing her career, Boland followed Davio’s to their Lynnfield location, where she continued to hone her craft as the restaurant’s Pastry Chef.

After almost four years at Davio’s, Boland was presented with the opportunity to join the team at Matt O’Neil’s second North Shore restaurant, Ledger, and happily accepted. Having spent all of her professional career in this field, Boland feels at home amongst the constant frenzy of a kitchen, and the constant challenge of what to create next.


August 14, 2019

Alto Forno, Chef Matthew Marquis

Matthew Marquis, who helped open Alto Forno two years ago as Sous Chef, is now the Executive Chef of one of the hottest up and coming restaurants on the North Shore serving up his takes on modern Italian at the newest sister restaurant of Pellana Prime Steakhouse.

Back in 2004, Chef Matthew Marquis fell in love with the culinary world taking Bake Shop class as a freshman at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, and he never looked back. While in high school he competed in baking and culinary competitions against vocational schools in the region, eventually competing at his future alma matter, JWU. After graduating with an additional vocational diploma for Culinary Arts at PVMHS he continued his education at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI.

While working during his years in school, Matthew credits local legend Chef Michael McHugh for his mentoring while at Julian’s on Broadway. After graduating JWU with his Bachelor’s in Food Service Management, a year on the Cape was due, where Matthew worked under Doug Ramler at the Cape Sea Grille. From there, stops in Boston at L’Espalier, Salem at 62, Tavola in Charlottesville, VA helped him become Sous Chef at Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead under Chef Chris Janian. As Matthew describes, this is all what lead to him finally landing his dream job. Helping open Alto Forno of Peabody as Sous Chef, and a year ago taking over the helm as Executive Chef. With his own takes on traditional Italian classics, exciting and innovative nightly specials you don’t often see on the North Shore, Alto Forno has begun to grow a following. Owners Dan and Daniella Mammola are currently building Alto Suites behind of Alto Forno where in the near future you can attend an intimate wine dinner with Chef Matthew on the sixth floor which will be called, “Alto Bravado”.

In his free time Matthew likes to check out restaurants in the area, watch old reruns of “Good Eats” and “Top Chef”, go hiking with his girlfriend and dog, play ping pong, pool, corn hole, Monopoly and any other game he can get competitive in.

Charity of Choice:
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34 in Massachusetts.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a grassroots movement focusing on eliminating the loss of life from suicide. We deliver innovative prevention programs, educate the public about risk factors and warning signs, raise funds for suicide research and programs, and reach out to those individuals who have lost someone from suicide.


August 21, 2019

Tonno/Prezza, Chef Anthony Caturano

At 25 years old Anthony Caturano opened up his first restaurant, Prezza, in Boston’s historic North End.  Named after the town his grandmother was born Prezza has been serving Italian inspired dishes for almost 19 years. Recently the famed chef and restaurateur has brought his Old World style of cooking to Gloucester and Wakefield with Tonno.  Italian for “tuna,” Tonno blends together chef Caturano’s favorite culinary styles, featuring coastal Italian seafood and other treasures from land and sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


August 28, 2019

Matadora, Chef Stephen Coe

A Massachusetts native, chef Stephen Coe was born into the culinary world. He was filling doughnuts at his grandfather’s shop by the age of eight. His passion was quickly realized and he was soon competing on the junior culinary circuit with some of the nation’s most talented prospects. Coe’s dedication and finesse landed him at the elite Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and by 2000, he had graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts and Nutrition, and an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and Business Management for Hotel Restaurants.

Upon graduating, Coe brought his near-perfect GPA to The Country Club in Brookline where he delved further into his budding career, doubling as the banquet sous chef and a la carte chef de cuisine. After four years, he assumed the role of pastry chef and sous chef at the seasonal five-star, five-diamond Topper’s at the Wauwinet on Nantucket, a Relais & Chateaux Luxury Resort. During the off season, Coe was employed as private chef for The Chef’s Table in Pembroke, where he was responsible for a myriad of tasks including menu development, servicing a celebrity clientele and business administration.

When BOKX 109 American Prime opened at the Hotel Indigo, Coe joined the team as sous chef and soon became an integral part of the seasonal menu development and nightly execution. He left to open a 22-acre non-profit training and research bee farm, Hollow Tree Farm in Plymouth, before returning to BOKX 109 as executive chef in August of 2012. He has also held executive chef positions at Alba in Quincy and Patrizia’s Trattoria in Plymouth. He even took the food truck world by storm serving as a consultant for Food Truck Nation. Coe was responsible for conceptualizing and overseeing four trucks and three culinary concepts including Italian Street Food, Lobsta Love and two Grilled Cheese Nations. Coe then signed on as the Executive Chef at the Mirbeau Inn & Spa, a sprawling property in Plymouth with two restaurants, a relaxed Bistro & Wine Bar and Henri Marie, a more refined restaurant meant to evoke the Art Deco style reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s.

In 2017, Coe, who lives in Plymouth with his wife and children, opened The Industry on Adams in Dorchester’s Adams Village before heading to Woburn to take the helm at Matadora. At the Spanish-leaning restaurant within The Hilton Boston-Woburn, he oversees a menu of tailored tapas with classic staples and bold drinks for a unique, bull-stopping dining experience.