Farmer Mixer at the Brooks: A Sell Out

Justin Fox Burks describes his joconde cake at the Farmer Mixer.

"It's all about walking the line." So says Chubby Vegetarian Justin Fox Burks about the lovely spread of vegetarian dishes he and Andrew Adams served at Thursday's kick-off  for the "Farmers Market Film Series" at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The series begins Saturday at 2 p.m. with a screening of "The Read Dirt on Farmer John." Three more films will be shown on subsequent Saturdays. Click here for more details.

On Thursday, local food advocates focused more on food than film, working the lines for an assortment of small plates, including these adorable egg shells stuffed with goat cheese cake with olive caramel and pepper jelly. The chefs also served their version of Scotch eggs with truffle potato foam (my favorite) and a Joconde cake imprinted with a lovely geometic design made with beet flour. (I am not kidding.) The sponge cake was topped with granola, beets and feta.

"If Justin was my personal chef, I could definitely be a vegetarian," I said to Susan, who actually is a vegetarian and agreed with my assessment that the food was inventive and delicious. Susan's favorite: Kimchi and peanut potstickers with white soy and a yuzu glaze. What's yuzu you ask? It's an Asian citrus fruit used typically for dipping sauces like Ponzu.

Before we left, Burks stopped by with a plate of smoked coconut bacon. The bite-size coconut pieces were crunchy with a sweet/smoky flavor. "How did you make this?" we asked. "It's easy," he said.  I just smoked the coconut and then toasted it in the oven."

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