Harvest Shoot & Taste of Autumn featured local chefs

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:02

    ANDOVER — Men and women recently gathered on the grounds of the Hudson Farm Club, a 3,000 acre hunting preserve in Andover, to participate in a clay shoot and enjoy a gourmet meal, with the aim of raising funds for Project Self-Sufficiency, a non-profit agency specializing in services for low-income families. Participants of all skill levels were invited to shoot at an assortment of over 100 clay targets at 20 different locations throughout the sprawling grounds. The day was capped with a 5-course, gourmet dinner prepared by renowned chefs Kirk Avondoglio, Bradley Boyle, Andre de Waal, and Tim Harder. The Harvest Shoot & Taste of Autumn Gourmet Gathering is one of the cornerstone events of Project Self-Sufficiency’s annual campaign, said Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “The services provided to low-income families by Project Self-Sufficiency are more important than ever, given the current state of our economy. Raising funds necessary to operate these programs is crucial to our success. We are extremely grateful to the four chefs who have shared their time and talent with all of us, and to the Hudson Farm Club for hosting this event for the ninth consecutive year.” Patrons at the Harvest Shoot & Taste of Autumn Gourmet Gathering had the option of participating in the all-day event, or just the dinner alone. This year, a special shooting clinic for women was added to the beginning part of the course, so that novices could learn to safely use a hunting rifle. Afterwards, participants gathered in the club’s richly-appointed dining room for the evening meal, which included hors d’oeuvres, salad and soup, fish, meat, and dessert. Each course was paired with a wine chosen specifically to complement the food. All four chefs collaborated on the hors d’oeuvres, which ranged from duck tacos to sweet potato empanadas. The soup and salad course was prepared by Bradley Boyle, owner of Salt Gastro Pub and Salt Studio, and included sweet potato soup with salmon bacon and toasted pecans, along with an apple salad. “We’ve been involved with Project Self-Sufficiency for years, and when they do a benefit, they are always well organized and well put together. They’re fun to work with. We’re always interested in helping out Project Self-Sufficiency, because they do a lot of great things for the community. We also love the people that they attract to their events, because they are not just there to support a great organization, they are also truly interested in what we, the restaurants, come up with for them each year. They are just always classy events.” Kirk Avondoglio, owner of Perona Farms, was responsible for the fish course. “We try to do anything we can to help the community, and Project Self-Sufficiency definitely helps the community,” saidd Avondoglio as he offered Moroccan spiced salmon with melted leeks and apricots. Tim Harder, owner of the Dining Room in Sparta, prepared the meat course for the affair, which included cinnamon braised short ribs with gorgonzola cheese and brandy-soaked cherries. “I was honored to be asked to participate in this event three years ago. It’s a wonderful night. It’s all about helping out and that’s what I try to do. I look forward to working with the other chefs every year. They are very helpful, and they give great ideas.” The dessert course was provided by Andre de Waal, owner of Andre’s Wine & Gourmet Gallery in Newton. “I like to give back to the people and the organizations who give so much to us,” noted Andre as he served bittersweet chocolate pate with pistachio cream. “I really appreciate all of the people that I know who are involved with Project Self-Sufficiency on so many different levels. It’s a nice time with the other chefs, and it’s fun to get together with them, share war stories, and share their company.” All proceeds went to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency.