Issue 30

Supper Club: Prairie Plate

Publisher’s Note: Omega Omega Omega (Tri Omega), the culinary fraternity at the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College, strives to provide students with opportunities to apply and develop their skills through unique experiences. One of these experiences is the Supper Club. The Supper Club selects a restaurant once a quarter and works with the chef of the restaurant to provide a unique dining experience to challenge the palate and minds of the students with the unique ingredients and techniques found in that chef’s kitchen. The article and photography for this article are also done by students.

Summer quarter found Tri Omega enjoying a true farm-to-table dining experience at Prairie Plate in Waverly, Nebraska. As we drove up to the property, we found ourselves looking right into a seven-acre pond surrounded by wheat grasses and geese. The sun reflecting off of the water was warm and welcoming. Once inside, the view from our table was mesmerizing and lulled us into a thought-provoking peacefulness. Their mission of bringing the experience of the small European country farm restaurant to Nebraska was evident and fulfilled.

We started out with a tour of the gardens and grounds where we found out that up to 80% of all the produce served is directly from their farm and certified organic. What they don’t produce they get from other nearby farms, such as Branched Oak Farms cheese products. Their menu is product driven, based on what they have in season and most of the food is picked the day before service.

After the tour, Chef Renee created a special menu for us that highlighted their beautiful, homegrown produce. The meal started with a Lake House farm salad and flatbread. The salad was a fresh mix of cucumbers, a creamy feta cheese from Branched Oak Farm, drizzled with olive oil. Chef Brian O’Malley commented that it took him right back to his days in Greece. The flatbread had a crisp crust, fresh San Marzano tomato sauce with smoked mozzarella from Branched Oak Farm and freshly picked basil.

The starter was a spring pea caramelle (stuffed pasta), sautéed in a light brown butter sauce. The fresh peas from their garden were sublime and the brown butter sauce was nutty and rich, but not too heavy for the delicate pasta. As Miseon Lee exclaimed, “I could eat a hundred of these!”

The main courses were kofte (mix of beef and lamb) with dill yoghurt, brown rice and scallion pilaf, and a grilled chicken spiedini (kabob) with kamut berry sweet corn pilaf with baby patty pan squash. The grains were nutty and fresh, and brought a heartiness to the dishes while the baby patty pan squash was cooked perfectly and tasted of pure summer.

Our meal concluded with a light as a cloud angel food cake with fresh squeezed lemon gelato and a berry sauce made from hand-picked berries straight from their garden. Audrey Stockwell said, “it was a nice balance of flavors and not super sweet dessert.”

As the meal ended, we made our way outside and sat by the pond while some of us went on a golf cart ride around the property. We were all hesitant to leave the peaceful surroundings, the passionate people that make up Prairie Plate, and the beautiful homegrown produce. After a group picture by the water, we slowly made our way to our cars to head back home to “the city”. I know for many of us, we will see them all again soon.

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