The farmers dinner at Interim Restaurant was a tremendous success in every way. It was heartening to see the large crowd of diners, all anxious not just for what was sure to be a superb meal, but for the opportunity to support local farmers and to learn more about them. The room was absolutely alive with energy.
The meal was superb as should be clear from the menu. This was, of course, due to a combination of fantastic ingredients and talented chefs. Our friend and dining companion the Viking was dead on when he said, “these greens are diabolically fresh.”
The participation of four of Memphis’s finest chefs was sure to be interesting. Interim’s executive chef Jackson Kramer stepped to the fore with this event. Conceiving of and coordinating an event of this magnitude and making it a stellar success shows Kramer as so much more than a great cook. It shows that, at his tender young age, he is truly becoming a great leader, a great chef.
Fred Carl, founder of Viking Range Corporation and owner of Interim, speaks highly of Kramer. “I’m the one that hired Jackson. I’m proud of that. He really saved our, ahem, when we were in flux here,” Carl said.
The sense of community at Interim was not just among the diners. The chefs were clearly thrilled to be working together and to be working with the farmers.
Stephen Hassinger of the Inn at Hunt-Phelan is a prominent force behind the movement to use local ingredients. Clay Lichterman recently left Grill 83, but the buzz at dinner was that he would soon be announcing something very interesting. Kelly English of Restaurant Iris spent several years at N’awlins in Tunica, but he is new to the Memphis scene. Nonetheless, he is already making a name for himself with his culinary talents.
If you missed the Interim dinner, never fear. The Memphis Farmers Market series of dinners will run throughout the summer giving you a chance to sample the best of ingredients given the best of treatment. And don’t wait for a special event. Stop by any and all of these restaurants to eat and to say thank you for keeping local food alive.