Harvest's first-ever Chef's Table dinner was hosted in its kitchen prep room on Dec. 15. | Photo by Steve Coomes

As Patrick Roney interviewed for the executive chef’s job at Harvest last year, partner Ivor Chodkowski walked him through the restaurant’s kitchen for a tour. Like most who’ve entered the space, Roney was surprised by its size: nearly three times the expanse of its 100-seat dining room.

Without even being hired for the job, he told Chodkowski confidently, “I want to do a chef’s table back here.”

Harvest executive chef, Patrick Roney, and two cooks assembled a scratch chicken noodle soup. | Photo by Steve Coomes
Harvest executive chef, Patrick Roney, and two cooks assembled a scratch chicken noodle soup. | Photo by Steve Coomes

That happened a year later when 12 diners were escorted past the hotline to the kitchen’s prep room for the restaurant’s first Chef’s Table dinner. The Dec. 15 dinner featured five paired courses using produce from Chodkowski’s Field Day Family Farm, and meat from Caldwell Willig’s Rivercrest Farm in Goshen.

“This is a dream of mine come true,” Roney said. “For us, it’s another chance to elevate the level of hospitality here to a new level.”

Specifically, he meant letting diners meet the kitchen team by having the cooks prepare and serve the meal. Roney also believes guests not only want to see where their food is made, but see it made before their eyes. Lacking burners and exhaust hoods, the prep room wasn’t conducive for that level of interactivity, but many courses were assembled just a few feet from the long, barn-wood dining table.

Hot chicken consomme was poured at the table by cooks. | Photo by Steve Coomes
Hot chicken consomme was poured at the table by cooks. | Photo by Steve Coomes

As far as kitchens go, Harvest is utilitarian. No gleaming chrome, designer lighting or Euro-kitchen cooking batteries. Just three rooms: one for cooking, one for prepping, one for storage. It’s advantage is space. Restaurants with more seating commonly have kitchens less than half this size.

“Having room for guests will never be a problem here,” Roney said. “We can have them in here and seated and still have lots of room for the team to move around.”

Roney wanted the experience to be realistic, right down to the modern music playing on a nearby Bluetooth speaker.

“We always listen to music when we’re working,” he said.

The culinary team worked just feet from guests. | Photo by Steve Coomes
The culinary team worked just feet from guests. | Photo by Steve Coomes

No mood lighting or candles, no hushed tones coming from the hotline. Just another day in the Harvest kitchen. Mostly anyway. Kitchen crews are known for bawdy talk, and tonight at least, Roney’s was on its best behavior.

Roney introduced each course by explaining its ingredients’ farm origins, why he chose them and how he cooked them. Following him was general manager Tim Quinlan, explaining the beverage paired with each course. And as guests ate, they talked to each farmer about his products.

This wasn’t the common server’s tableside spiel. This was a high level of detail with the opportunity to ask questions about how produce and animals are raised, even definitions of French culinary terms so common to kitchen argot. Call it a classroom in which you could eat and drink adult beverages while filling your mind.

With Roney at the center, a portion of Harvest's culinary team came out to conclude the meal. | Photo by Steve Coomes
With Roney at the center, a portion of Harvest’s culinary team came out to conclude the meal. | Photo by Steve Coomes

“We want our guests to learn about what they’re eating and where their food comes from,” Roney began, “but just as important to me is that our cooks learn who’s eating what they make. We want them to meet each other.”

For several years, Roney and his wife, Heather (banquet and catering sales manager at The Seelbach Hotel) were a chef and server team on private yachts. As the crafts sailed, they served at an intimate level.

“When you’re out to sea that long, you’re going to get to know every passenger,” he told me in an interview several years ago. “I really want our cooks here to experience some of that.”

Three of the courses were assembled in guests’ view. A scratch chicken noodle soup was amassed in bowls and delivered to the table where cooks poured hot chicken consommé over turmeric-spiked noodles and Russian River kale. Multiple cooks were required to assemble the course of potato gnocchi and rabbit sausage, as well as the beef duet of strip loin and short rib built atop creamed spinach. Fewer hands were required for the sweet potato pie with ginger Chantilly.

As guests raved about the food, Roney insisted that Chodkowski and Willig were the evening’s rock stars, “because without you, we have nothing to cook. I’m so proud to have you here and cook your products for you.”

The nearly three-hour meal isn’t inexpensive: $95 for the food, $35 additional for pairings, plus tax and gratuity. There are plenty of special occasion meals around town, but few with the immersive experience or, frankly, the quality of Roney’s food. It’s worth adding that the beverage pairings also were exceptional. (The only other chef’s table experience I can think of is at the English Grill, and I’m sure it’s a dandy as well.)

For now, Harvest’s chef’s table will be a monthly event and one seating only. Watch its Facebook page for announcements about upcoming meals, or reserve a seat now by calling 384-9090.

SHARE
Previous articleReed Johnson’s Big Hog Story; Bravo for Annie Pettry
Next articleChristmas Week with EDT – Cards, Cats, a Big Pig, and More News
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

171 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. And while I’m completely biased in my opinion, I think Harvest is the best at what it’s trying to do in the Louisville ‘farm-to-table’ arena. Hopefully these monthly event’s will just further solidify that well deserved reputation.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the
    message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  3. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I in finding this
    topic to be really one thing that I think I’d by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complex and extremely vast for me.
    I am looking forward on your next submit, I will attempt
    to get the cling of it!

  4. Hi I am so grateful I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Aol for
    something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
    say cheers for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read
    it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also
    added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

  5. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  6. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on this.
    And he in fact bought me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web site.
    cheap flights y2yxvvfw

  7. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none
    the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for
    about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.

    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a
    way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  8. I blog often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.|

  9. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.|

  10. I believe what you said made a bunch of sense. However, what about this? what if you were to create a awesome headline? I am not suggesting your information isn’t good, but suppose you added a title that makes people want more? I mean %BLOG_TITLE% is kinda boring. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create post headlines to grab people interested. You might add a video or a picture or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve got to say. In my opinion, it could make your blog a little livelier.|

  11. Good day very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful
    .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to
    find numerous helpful info right here in the submit,
    we’d like work out more techniques on this regard, thank you
    for sharing.

    Also visit my web site – diet ulitmate

  12. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thanks

    Review my website: Quick Trim Keto; Elbert,

  13. I drop a comment each time I like a post on a site or if
    I have something to add to the conversation. It is caused by
    the fire displayed in the post I browsed. And on this post
    Harvest’s new chef’s table is a dream come true for Roney and guests
    |. I was actually excited enough to drop a thought :
    -P I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s okay.
    Could it be just me or does it look as if like some of
    these comments appear as if they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are writing on other sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Could you make a list every one of all your shared pages like your twitter
    feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    My web page: Circadiyin [http://quicktrimketo.ampblogs.com]

  14. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d
    most certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for
    now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my
    Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will
    share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    Also visit my blog: Quick Trim Keto

  15. Great blog here! Additionally your website so much
    up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your associate link for your host?

    I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    My blog :: Tacoma Farms CBD; Gregg,

  16. I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I?m looking
    to create my own site and would love to find out where you got
    this from or what the theme is called. Many thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my page; Quick Trim Keto (justpaste.it)

  17. I am commenting to make you know what a fabulous encounter
    my girl undergone studying your web page. She came to find such a lot of details, including
    what it is like to have an incredible giving spirit to make other
    individuals without difficulty know precisely a number of tortuous topics.
    You undoubtedly did more than our desires. I appreciate you for distributing those precious, safe,
    educational and also easy thoughts on this topic to Kate.

    Here is my blog post :: Quick Trim Keto

  18. After exploring a number of the blog articles on your website,
    I seriously like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my
    bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and
    tell me your opinion.

    Feel free to visit my web site Circadiyin

  19. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

    Also visit my page: Nouvee Skin Cream – groups.google.com

  20. Thanks for any other magnificent post. The place else may just anyone get that type of info in such
    a perfect approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

    Review my page; Nouvee Skin Cream (Pedro)

  21. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog
    posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled
    upon this web site. Studying this information So i’m glad to show that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out
    exactly what I needed. I so much without a doubt will
    make sure to do not overlook this website and
    give it a glance regularly.

    Feel free to surf to my homepage Pinnacle Science Testo Boost (justpaste.it)

  22. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks

    my web site: testosterone continues

  23. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I
    get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you
    can remove people from that service? Appreciate it!

  24. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will
    ensure that I bookmark your blog and will eventually come back down the road.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have
    a nice day!

    My site :: Pinnacle Science Testo Boost (Claribel)

  25. This is the right website for anybody who wishes to find out about this
    topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to?HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been discussed for a long time.
    Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

    Stop by my web-site … Pinnacle Science Testo Boost – https://www.tumblr.com/blog/pinnaclesciencetestobooster

  26. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have
    really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing
    on your feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

    Stop by my blog; Pinnacle Science Testo Boost (Minna)

  27. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
    Thank you so much!

    Here is my web page Pinnacle Science Testo Boost
    (Dominique)

  28. Great ? I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site.
    I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related information ended
    up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you
    know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to
    appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme .
    a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

    my homepage Pinnacle Science Testo Boost (healingxchange.ning.com)

  29. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else
    experiencing problems with your blog. It appears as though some
    of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me
    know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue
    with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Kudos

    Here is my webpage; diabetic nerve pain

  30. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a top notch article…

    but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never
    seem to get nearly anything done.

    Check out my blog post: Diaetoxil, Ellis,

  31. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web page on a
    regular basis, this web page is really pleasant and the people are actually sharing nice thoughts.

    My web-site – Diaetoxil [Maggie]

  32. When someone writes an post he/she maintains the image
    of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is amazing.
    Thanks!

    Also visit my web blog – Circadiyin (Tiffany)

  33. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this website is
    actually pleasant and the people are actually sharing pleasant thoughts.

    Look at my page :: Circadiyin (Don)

  34. I wanted to thank you for this very good read!!
    I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have got you book
    marked to look at new stuff you post…

    Here is my web-site :: Straight Gains XL (Willian)

  35. I drop a leave a response whenever I like a article on a site or if I have something to contribute to the discussion.
    Usually it is triggered by the passion displayed in the article I looked at.
    And after this article Harvest’s new chef’s table is a dream come true for Roney and guests |.
    I was excited enough to post a thought 😛 I do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be only me or does it seem like a few of these remarks look like
    coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post.
    Could you make a list every one of your
    community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    Also visit my blog post :: diet plans

  36. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?
    My blog discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and
    I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog
    by the way!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage; fat burning kitchen

  37. Hi! I could have sworn I?ve been to this site before but after looking at many of the articles I realized
    it?s new to me. Regardless, I?m definitely delighted I
    stumbled upon it and I?ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

    my web page: atolyesi.net

  38. I feel that is one of the such a lot important information for me.
    And i’m glad studying your article. But should observation on some common issues, The website style is great, the articles is really nice : D.
    Just right activity, cheers

  39. Thanks for any other magnificent article. The place else may anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal means of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for
    such information.

  40. Hello! I kbow this is kina off topic but I’d figured
    I’d ask. Wouhld you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog post oor vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same
    subjects ass yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you happen to be interested feel garena free fire free diamond
    to send me ann email. I look forward tto hearing from you!

    Great blog by the way!

  41. If you are looking for conversation questions or conversations starters for native speakers of English instead of ESL students you can 
    You have troubles making real English conversations? You want to improve your Spoken English quickly? You are too busy to join in any English speaking course?
    카지노사이트

  42. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

    Look into my website: garena free fire hack

  43. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
    updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like
    this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.

    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
    and I look forward to your new updates.

    Here is my site … garena free fire free diamonds

LEAVE A REPLY