The Harvest Gathering
Food is a way of life for so many. After attendingThe Harvest Gathering at the beautiful Devils Thumb Ranch, created in partnership between Hazon and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, I learned about the history and connection over 60 Jewish food professionals have – not just with bagels and rugelach – but for the values and comradery in the industry.
Even before the conference began, I had to make a stop in Denver to check out Rosenberg’s Bagels. This was totally the right move as we sampled all they had to offer when it comes to classic Jewish delicacies with a modern twist. The retreat kicked off with Joan Nathan, the grand dame of Jewish food in America. A natural storyteller, Joan shared her journey into cooking, secrets about her recipes, and a preview of what we might expect in her fourth decade of sharing food stories and inspiring a new generation of at-home cooks.
Out in the mountains of Colorado for a few days with 60 Jewish food professionals from all over the world 🌎 to learn and eat 🔯🍴. Our first meal together was a 5-dish whole boat dinner 🐠🐟🚤. The salmon, butter nut squash purée, and ginger mushrooms was on point 👌🏻. A photo posted by My Mom Calls Me Yoni (@jewisheater) on
How do you really get to know others? You eat good food and drink good wine together. Five chef participants in the retreat collaborated on a five-course “Whole Boat” dinner. The highlight for me was this salmon with butternut squash puree dish. The chefs only had two hours to prep and cook this dinner, and damn it was impressive.
We kicked off with group activities, including learning about the Chef Ann Cooper Foundation and sampling some of the healthy dishes that Boulder County Schools are now serving.
Later on, we traveled to Lake Tabernash to learn about the art of kosher slaughter. This was more than just a learning opportunity, it was a spiritual and emotional experience.
Chef Hosea Rosenberg, Top Chef Season 5 winner, prepared a ridiculous open flame and spit-roasted dinner. Menu items included lamb, carrots in a sweet romesco sauce, smoked corn, and a fresh locally grown kale salad.
The venue and table settings were top-notch, and brought a lot of inspiration when it comes to hosting and creating intentional spaces on Friday nights.
Don’t have sunsets like this every night in Chicago. Had to stop and capture this moment.
The final day on the ranch included some time outdoors. After an inspiring talk from Ari Rosenzweig of Zingerman’s, we went fly fishing. It was quite a different change of pace to go from hearing about pastrami sandwiches and anarchism to standing in nature at one of the most beautiful sites I’ve visited.
Best part of these three days? Getting to spend them with my younger brother. This was the first time we’ve ever shared a professional experience together and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I will be forever grateful to Hazon and The Schusterman Family Foundation for letting the Eisen brothers spend time together doing what we love – talking about and eating good food! As a chef, Brett gets to help athletes feel better about their food choices, and with OneTable we’re helping people create connection and community through memorable experiences at their Friday night dinner table.