Bringing people to at 800-foot long table on an abandoned rail track.
While preparing to install 20×80-foot banners on a grain elevator for Stored Potential, we quickly became familiar with the adjacent abandoned rail track, a vestige of the industrial networks once supporting the grain elevator. A continuation of the Field Club Trail to the north, this portion of the old Belt Line Rail Corridor remains the last missing link to complete a citywide trail system. Once the thickets of scrub were cleared and the exposed industrial waste removed to make way for cranes to install the banners, we realized the importance of doing something for people to experience this long forgotten place up close. We would construct a dinner table directly on top of the old rail bed running the length of the newly bannered grain elevator. This event would bring people to an unlikely place to dine in the shadow of artist interpretation about the regional landscape.
An unprecedented pairing of 10-local chefs worked with culinary students, over 40-local farmers, a team of animated servers, and dozens of volunteers, to serve a 5-course meal to 500 people seated at the table. Diners arrived via the Field Club Trail to what was, for a day, a dinner table as its continuation. The combination of the gigantic artwork and choreography of the dinner created an experience of juxtaposed scales: the massiveness of industrial agriculture and the human dimensions of a meal. This event made an indelible mark on the community: animating a public space, momentarily animating the neighborhood in a new way, creating new alliances among chefs and farmers.
Elle Lien, The Daily Grub, Omaha, NE; Tim Shew, La Buvette, Omaha, NE; Clayton Chapman, The Grey Plume, Omaha, NE; Kevin Shinn, bread&cup, Lincoln, NE; Paul Kulik, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE; Brian O’Malley, Metropolitan Community College Institute of Culinary Arts, Omaha, NE; Matthew Taylor, Arbor Day Lied Lodge and Conference Center, Nebraska City, NE; Jacqui Caniglia, La Charlotte, Omaha, NE; Amy Green, Ivanna Cone, Lincoln, NE; Brigitte McQueen, Omaha, NE.
Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City, NE; BirdSong Farm, Castana, IA; Black Sheep Farms, Bennington, NE; BloomsOrganic, Crescent, IA; Blue Line Coffee, Omaha, NE; Branched Oak Farm, Raymond, NE; bread&cup, Lincoln, NE; Bread Oven, Omaha, NE; Clear Creek Organic Farms, Spalding, NE; Common Good Farm, Raymond, NE; Community Crops, Lincoln, NE; Crooked Creek Ventures, Caroll, IA; George Paul Vinegar, Cody, NE; Grain Place, Marquette, NE; Grass Menagerie, Bellevue, NE; GreenLeaf Organics, Omaha, NE; Heartland Nuts N More, Valparaiso, NE; Homeside Farm Market and Greenhouse, Carson, IA; Hutchinson Organic Buffalo Ranch, Rose, NE; It’s All About Bees, Ralston, NE; Ivanna Cone, Lincoln, NE; Kimmel Orchard, Nebraska City, NE; Le Quartier Bakery, Lincoln, NE; Nebraska Brewing Company, Papillion, NE; North Star Neighbors, Fullerton, NE; R Lazy K Country Store, Spencer, NE; Rhizosphere Farm, Waterloo, NE; Shadowbrook Farm, Lincoln, NE; Something Sweet, Glenwood, IA; Stephens Family Gardens, Honey Creek, IA; TD Niche Pork, Elk Creek, NE; Thistles & Clover, Danbury, IA; Welcherts Farm, Fort Calhoun, NE; Wenninghoff Farm, Omaha, NE; KJ Farms, Emmett, NE.
Thomas Sibbett, Darach Gaskill, Dana Ryan, Julie Conway, James Hermsen, April Faith-Slaker, Josephine Joyner, Joyce Bernard, laura Friesel, Peral Lovejoy, Therese Pogge, Jeanne Neumann Glasford, Hollie Sibbitt, Megan Thomas, Satid Kippenberger, Molly Gurnicz, Josephine Joyner, Nicole LeClerc.
1: Roasted Heirloom Squash with Sweet Potato Gravy on Herbed Polenta, Roasted Beets and Feta;
2: Chicken Roulade, Chicken Jus, Butternut Squash;
3: Pork Seven Ways, Roasted Apples, Braised Greens;
4: Bison “Pot Roast”, Bison and Tobacco Sausage, Smoked Bison “Bacon”, Green Cabbage Choucroute, Champagne and Cider Glaze, Rosemary Potatoes;
Dessert: Apple Crisp, Carrot Cake with Honey Butter Cream, Sweet Potato Cake with Candied Walnuts and Caramel Sauce, Honey Chevre Ice Cream.