A Father’s Day to Remember-Guest Post by Roy Ramey
I had a wonderful experience today for Father’s Day. Firstly because I was able to spend the day with my three year old daughter and loving wife, which is the reason for this special day, dedicated to fathers. Secondly, because we went to Huntington Prime Penthouse Restaurant.
Let me now disclose that as a local farmer, I provided one of the proteins for the brunch, pastured poultry. I felt proud as a father whose child was attending an Ivy League college. Today, my pastured poultry graduated with honors.
The event started by waiting downstairs for nearly a half hour. Of course, I have learned that places that have a good crowd are usually worth waiting for. This met with the rule. Chef Michael and the staff at Huntington Prime offered their Sunday Brunch, which included roasted pork, beef brisket, roasted chicken, bacon, eggs and omelets made to order, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, salad and a host of other accompanying items. The service was prompt and all of the staff was very courteous. They are excited and proud about the food they serve and with good reason. Even the server who carved the meat at the buffet knew this chicken came from a local farm just outside of Huntington and proudly bragged about how it was prepared with local herbs.
Most farmers never get the chance to eat the food they have grown as prepared at a local restaurant. It gets picked up by truck, hauled off to a processor a long way off, then packaged and shipped off to a distributor to get shipped even further and sold to who knows. Then prepared by a national chain restaurant in a land far, far away. It is processed and adulterated to the point that it shouldn’t be called ‘food.’
I was blessed today to eat food that has all come from somewhere local. The roasted chicken, professionally prepared with a friends herbs, also grown locally. The chicken itself came from Avalon Farms in Lesage. Raised on pasture, moved every day in a chicken tractor with no medications, hormones or anything unnatural. These birds were kindly cared for through their life and even during the processing. Beth Rankin, the publisher of this blog, and her husband Graham, along with my neighbor, spent a few hours to do the job right; humanly processing them to maintain the integrity to match how they were raised. You won’t find that level of dedication at your average food system. But then again, with a place as classy as Huntington Prime, they are certainly not average. You can grow the best food in the world but if you don’t prepare it properly, it won’t be fit to eat by a wild scavenger. Chef Michael knows how to expertly prepare these dishes in a way that complements the way they were raised.
I want to say thanks to Chef Michael and his staff at Huntington Prime for their dedication to providing the best local food you can get in the region. I am proud as a farmer/father can be that my birds have graduated from an Ivy League Restaurant with honors. This will be a Father’s Day to remember.
Avalon Farm, Lesage, West Virginia