Absolutely perfect, beautiful day. Could not have asked for more.I’ve been fortunate enough to work events with Chive: Sustainable Event Design and Catering, but before you think this rave review is because I work there, and therefore biased, let me tell you – I work there because I know how fully they believe in their mission to deliver beautiful, delicious, and fun zero-waste events, sourced from local farmers, fishermen, and artisans. Every event that they create is so beautiful and tailored to the clients’ needs, whether it’s a small “bourbon and barbecue” 40th birthday party, or a 150 person wedding.
Every season, Chive throws a big party open to the community to highlight the people and companies that have helped make Chive what it is, to celebrate “the land, the seasons, the harvest and giving back.” These Sustainable Sunday Suppers are always a blast and are such a great way to meet like-minded people, while taking in incredible views, eating and drinking delicious creations, and enjoying live music. This summer’s event was no exception. Supper on the Sea (S.O.S.) was a day-long celebration under the stars (under the starry tent during the day, and into the night when the stars popped out). Local catch and harvest, creative drinks, a funky DJ, live reggae band, artisans donating their work to the raffle, beautiful oceanside property on Coolidge Point in Manchester, MA…it goes on.I bartended during the party, and there were some yummy drinks!! First, there was the “life saver”, which featured Bully Boy white rum with watermelon puree and soda water, served with a lemon. Bully Boy is a micro distillery in Boston, actually the first craft distillery in the city. They produce hand-crafted spirits, such as white and wheat whiskey, and Boston rum, in addition to their white rum. They’re all very smooth – I have their vodka and am not typically a fan of vodka, but this is one worth having. Bully Boy’s white rum, made with blackstrap molasses, is a delicious accompaniment to the watermelon puree. We had such a beautiful, sunny day for the party, and so many guests raved about the light, fresh and summery cocktail. The rum would easily transition into fall through one of Bully Boy’s suggested cocktails, such as the following recipe from the distiller’s website:
The Big Stick (compliments of Island Creek Oyster Bar)
2 ¼ oz. Bully Boy White Rum
¾ oz. Raw Sugar Syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
3 drops absinthe
Pour over ice, drain into a chilled lowball glass
Garnish with a long lime twist
Other drinks we poured that day included the super popular “Fancy Crab Legs”, which was Berkshire Mountain Distiller’s Bourbon and their bitters, with house-made ginger ale. SO good. Actually so good that all week I’ve been wanting to make myself one at home, although without the homemade ginger ale…but alas have not been able to find their bitters anywhere! There is actually a lack of selection in bitters around here, so I ended up with angostura, which I’m sure will still be good, but I wanted the whole effect, local source and all. I do think liquor stores would carry it if requested, and I have seen their whiskey, rum, and other spirits around stores. Finally, we had a white sangria with pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, Thatcher’s elderflower liqueur, and elderberries from Lindsey’s (the chef) garden; a red, stone fruit sangria with nectarines and peaches; and a selection of local beers. All so tasty.And of course, they served up delicious bites…creamy corn chowder; gazpacho; chard cakes; local bluefish and tuna; an amazing, hearty salad with local cheeses; THE PERUVIAN CEVICHE; a taco bar complete with pork, fish, and veggie tacos; an ode to eggplant; Island Creek oysters; roasted tomatoes, Sabina’s olive tapenade, and local feta all with the option of Lark’s scourtins (savory olive shortbreads), and on and on. Dessert…can’t forget the tractor-churned ice cream! Literally, Chive’s friends spent the day churning ice cream on the back of a tractor, which was served with a caramel apple sauce or Taza chocolate sauce. Elise, the baker, made an amazing chocolate cake in mini jam jars that went perfectly with the ice cream. Reliving all of this right now, I would not mind one bit going back to that day…
Everything is either composted or recycled. Chive uses their friends’ composting company, Black Earth Hauler, who takes away the food waste, composts it, and makes it available for home gardening use. They do both residential and commercial composting, and many businesses on the North Shore are picking up on the idea of composting now!Each of the Sustainable Sunday Suppers benefits a local non-profit that resonates with the Chive girls. This one was particularly special, as our friends Pat and Lauren have created an amazing organization called Change is Simple, which brings environmental education into schools and fits the program into the curriculum. Environmental issues clearly are not going away, but if we can educate the next generation to be stewards of the environment and our natural resources, no matter their chosen path in life, then we have done something right. These two are so passionate about working for a better world, and it’s so clear in the work they do every day, whether it’s working with a local school, cleaning up the streets or the beach, or just helping a friend understand something they were unsure of before.To help raise money for Change is Simple, in addition to the proceeds from the ticket sales, Chive put on a chock-full raffle with donations from local artisans and their sponsors. I won an incredible necklace from Viola Lovely and would wear it every day if I could. It’s carnelian, agate, and opal, and I’m obsessed.We rounded out the afternoon and evening listening to the funky Dub Down from Somerville. So incredibly fun, and I definitely plan to check them out at Bull McCabe’s in Union Square. They play on Thursday nights, and another great band Dub Apocalypse plays there on Sunday nights. Good great wonderful!!If you want to check out more of my photos from S.O.S., head over to my flikr page! Hope to see you at the next Sustainable Sunday Supper!
[…] feels like the summer supper just happened, but already the trees at Valley View Farm in Topsfield are turning a rich golden […]