A navy-blue canopy sky and twinkling stars on a September Sunday evening, along with wines, savory bites and the Wings of Swing band.
What a great evening it should be at the third annual Harvest Moon Festival presented by Reinhart Foodservice, one of the can’t-miss events of the year in the Ozarks. A fundraiser for the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, the Harvest Moon Festival is accepting table sponsorships for the event, set for Sunday, Sept. 25 on the immaculate driving range of Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield.
“Highland Springs is a beautiful setting as it is,” said Kim Lorenzen, owner of Macadoodles and member of the festival committee. “But you relax on the driving range with white chairs, white table cloths and world-trained chefs, and you have this beautiful evening.”
The Harvest Moon Festival has been a terrific fundraiser for the PCCC, which has benefitted Ozarks children’s charities in its 27-year history. A year ago, the festival’s auction alone raised $70,000.
This year, 10 to 12 internationally trained chefs will prepare culinary delights on site while specialty drinks, seasonal beers and top wines will be available. All of this while music flows from the Wings of Swing, a terrific ensemble in the form of the 1940s big bands.
The chefs already lined up are Andy Hampshire of Farmer’s GastroPub, Vito Palmietto of Vito’s Kitchen, Mike Halbert of Big Cedar/Top of the Rock, Brad Lyons of Highland Springs, Wes Johnson of Metro Farmers, Robert Stricklin of The Keeter Center, Elie Ghanem of That Lebanese Place and Daniel Ernce of Progressive Pop-Up.
“This year, we have a great array of flavors and cuisines from all over the world,” said Phil Daniels, Culinary Director of the Harvest Moon Festival. “Our menu will be featuring everything from down-home southern and Midwestern items to British pub, European, Indian and Middle Eastern fare, along with some very avant garde specialty cocktails. We will also offer several fine wines and craft beers. If you like food and drink, this is your event.”
The menu features: English-style pork; beans and lamb mappas; sausage and grits plus mussels and spaghetti squash; a late-summer pot roast (braised short rib) served with heirloom tomatoes and a sharp cheddar potato puree; a pumpkin seed crusted chicken breast with an apple pecan pancake and a drizzle of amaretto apple cream sauce; sweet pork tenderloin seared over sweet puree, topped with Bing cherry relish; pickled pepper and pork roast Bahn Mi (house-made peppers paired with slow-roasted pulled pork and served on a Vietnamese Bahn Mi baguette); a Farmer’s Ragu (tender braised goat in a savory farmstead tomato garlic ragu); a decadent array of hand-made ice creams, gelatos, toppings and fine sweet pastries and tarts; a Lebanese version of a Greek gyro; and roasted butternut squash fries and boneless baby back ribs.
Auctions items include a getaway to Casa Suenos, a resort on the Pacific Ocean shores of Mexico featuring five ocean-facing suites and a full staff; a package to the World Golf Hall of Fame at PGA headquarters in St. Augustine, Fla.; a November pop-up dinner for four; 1,000-pound beef and processing; a golf package to TPC Sawgrass; a package to The Masters in Augusta, Ga; and a Bass Pro Legends of Golf package. Silent auction items include a package for four to The Club at Porto Cima on Lake of the Ozarks and a wine tasting for 10 at Macadoodles.
For Lorenzen, the event was such a hit for her and her husband, Brett, that she joined the Harvest Moon Festival’s committee.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Lorenzen said. “As the sun goes down, you hang out by the fire pit. With the Price Cutter Charity Championship, it’s such a massive production. Harvest Moon is really a wrap-up event to raise additional funds and take a deep breath and enjoy everything that happened over the summer.”
What to go?
What: Harvest Moon Festival presented by Reinhart Foodservice
When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25
Where: Driving range of Highland Springs Country Club
Tickets: Call 417-887-3400. It is $500 for a couple, or $1,850 for a table of eight
- Farmer’s Gastropub, Andy Hampshire: English-style pork and beans: Slow-roasted pork belly, British bangers, cannellini beans, kale, butternut squash and a sweet onion crust; lamb mappas: lamb curry with tomatoes and coconut milk, roasted mushrooms, diced potatoes with house-made Naan bread
- Vito’s Kitchen, Vito Palmietto: Sausage & Grits – slow roasted hand-made sausage served over a bed of creamy wild mushroom polenta; Mussels & Spaghetti Squash – Steamed Mussels served with a rich white wine & butter sauce over a bed of spaghetti squash and zesty feta cheese crumbles
- Big Cedar Lodge/Top of the Rock, Mike Halbert: Late Summer Pot Roast – Braised short rib served with heirloom tomatoes and a sharp cheddar potato purée
- Highland Springs Country Club, Brad Lyons: Harvest Moon Chicken – Pumpkin seed crusted chicken breast with an apple pecan pancake and a drizzle of amaretto apple cream sauce; Sweet Pork Tenderloin – Seared marinated pork tenderloin over sweet potato purée, topped with Bing cherry relish
- Metro Farmers, Wes Johnson: Pickled Pepper & Roast Pork Bahn Mi – House-made pickled peppers are paired with slow roasted pulled pork and served on a Vietnamese Bahn Mi Baguette; A Farmer’s Ragu – Tender braised goat in a savory farmstead tomato garlic ragu
- The Keeter Center, Robert Stricklin: The Grand Dessert Sampler — Pumpkin Cheesecake Verrine, Salted Caramel Éclair, Espresso Panna Cotta, Chocolate Ganache Tartelette
- That Lebanese Place, Elie Ghanem: Lebanese version of the Greek gyro
- Progressive Pop-Up, Daniel Ernce: Roasted Butternut Squash Fries – sliced and roasted butternut squash spritzed with a brown sugar and cider vinegar shrub and served with a bacon fat cream & smoked pecan crumble; Boneless Baby Backs – baby back ribs that are deboned and meat glued together before being roasted and pressed. Individual slices are then seared and served over an apple, brie, parsnip & potato purée. Drizzled with pomegranate molasses & sweet soy glaze and garnished with scallions
- The Specialty Drinks, by Progressive Pop Up: The Midwest Manhattan – Bourbon and fresh pressed apple cider with a splash of lemon, float of ginger beer & a touch of aromatic bitter; Virgin Island – Smooth pear nectar infused with ginger syrup, mixed with Topo Chico lime sparkling water and garnished with a slice of lemon