Dinner on the farm: Local chefs serve food during seasonal event

Sep. 2—MANCELONA — A fall dinner will take place Sept. 10 at Danu Hof Farm and Market near Mancelona.

Dinner on the Hof begins with a farm tour at 4 p.m., and food is served at 5 p.m.

Farm owner Caitlin McSweeney-Steffes said the event aims to "show off everything up here the community has to offer," particularly produce that is in season during the fall months.

"We wanted to showcase the great local ingredients that are available," McSweeney-Steffes said. "All of the drinks are local as well. We're very locally-focused between Antrim and Grand Traverse County."

Guests will receive a multi-course menu at the event, and then can visit several chefs' tables. McSweeney-Steffes said she hopes people talk with the cooks to learn more about their dishes and their restaurants.

"We have a mix of things," she said. "There's always soup and salad. We use seasonal vegetables. It's a farm-to-table dinner."

One of the participants is Yum and Yummer, a catering company based in East Jordan. Chef Jessie May Murray said she and McSweeney-Steffes once worked together at Café Santé in Boyne City and they stayed in touch.

For this year's Dinner on the Hof, Murray said she might send her assistant Stephanie Lockman with a soup like her autumn bisque, made with roasted pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger and orange.

"It's all local," Murray said. "We buy around town as much as possible."

At previous farm dinners, she paired her soup with a crostini or grilled cheese.

Murray started her company in 2020 as a meal delivery service, but has expanded to custom catering.

She said she has made a variety of cuisine, including vegan meals.

The dinner also will feature dishes made by Larry McSweeney-Steffes from Danu Hof, Maria Leggett from Broomstack Kitchen and Taphouse in Maple City, Randy Minish from Terrain Restaurant in Bellaire and David Sicotte from Great Lakes Chocolate and Dessert Co. in Traverse City. Mike's Bar Catering will serve beverages from Bee Well Cider in Bellaire, Boyne Valley Vineyards and Foggy Mountain Spirits in Boyne Falls.

The farm usually hosts a dinner in the spring along with one in the fall. These dinners began about three years ago, McSweeney-Steffes added.

The Sept. 10 Dinner on the Hof is $80 and includes food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Live music is provided by local musician Chris Michels.

Space is limited. For more details, visit www.danuhof.com/farm-dinner.