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Third Thursday Community Potluck

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CreatIve dIreCtor - DIDI RAINEY / lead hoMe stYlIst - AMY SCOTT (WEST ELM) / Forks - West Elm Promenade / Placemats - Caspari / Dinner & Salad Plates - Casafi na (Spot On) /
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/ Cutting Board - West Elm / Bowl - The Rustic Touch /
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/ Alfresco Versa Burner - Embers Grill and Fireplace /
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/ Scape Salad Plate - West Elm (Cocoa) /
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/ Juliska Glass - COLOR at Home /
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/ Olivia Olive Oil - White Balsamic with Lemon & California "Arbequina" Olive Oil /
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/ White Loaf Pan - West Elm /
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/ Outdoor Kitchen - Embers Grill and Fireplace /
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T aking it outside, preparing and enjoying a meal in the open air sparks appetites, conversation, and camaraderie. While we often think of summertime as grilling time, the cool, crisp weather of fall is ideal for cooking and dining alfresco. And for Dave and Lisa Gilbert, proud owners of a new custom-built outdoor kitchen at their Brentwood home, that prospect is now year round.

AN AUTUMN ALFRESCO BUFFET

Fall Lettuces with Herbed Chevre Croquettes, Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette Alsatian Sour
Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Pears and Thyme
Atlantic Press←
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Imperial Drag #2←
Red Beet Quinoa
Village House←
Butternut Squash and Leek Lasagna
Nutmeg Old Fashioned
Rustic Apple Galette with Apple Caramel Syrup
St. Etienne←

The Gilberts hosted chef and author Nancy Vienneau and mixologist extraordinaire Jon Yeager of Pour Taste to prepare an autumn-inspired dinner in their outdoor kitchen, showcasing recipes from Vienneau’s just-launched Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook. The season’s palette of brilliant oranges, golds, browns, and burgundies was reflected in the platters of beautiful food and pours of heady libations.

With stations to prep, cook, serve, and entertain, the kitchen had it all. As she finished the cider-braised pork on the grill, Nancy pan-fried herbed goat cheese croquettes for the salad on the Versa Burner. Jon captivated guests with his ingenious cocktails, created to pair with each dish. A beguiling stir of Pritchard’s rum, sherry, stout and black walnut bitters, his Imperial Drag was a dark, delicious sip to accompany the ginger-scented sweet potato biscuits. His Nutmeg Old Fashioned, made with Pritchard’s rye, Benedictine, citrus, bitters, and the freshly grated spice made an ideal match for the butternut squash-leek lasagna.

Set upon a natural stone counter, against the backdrop of a clear autumn sky, the vibrant colors and aromas of each dish beckoned guests to the buffet: succulent pork shoulder with pears, earthy-sweet red beet quinoa, a rustic apple galette with apple caramel syrup. What could be better than sharing the bounty of the season with friends, outside, in nature’s dining room?

Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook

By Nancy Vinneau
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As a recovered caterer turned food writer and activist, I have long been interested in the connections that we make at the table. Desiring to foster community and share the good food we were growing, urban farmer Gigi Gaskins and I began co-hosting a monthly potluck, held on the third Thursday of each month.

We structured it loosely—no assigned dishes, no RSVP. We invited a broad cross-section of people from all over the city who, we believed, had an affinity for the concept—a casual gathering of good food, sharing what we were growing, cooking, eating, advocating. To our amazement, so many people came, bringing their best efforts, drawing on the season’s bounty.

What started five years ago quickly blossomed into an extraordinary event, a potluck like no other. Spectacular meals! I realized that it held the promise of a cookbook, one that could cast a new slant on the possibilities of potluck.

Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook serves not only as a repository of those recipes, it tells the stories of our group’s inception, journals our adventures at the urban farm, and spotlights some of our intrepid potluckers. Each chapter is a month, with its corresponding menu, recipes, and story, which carry you through the arc of the seasons. It shares tips for forming your own “Third Thursday.”

The book’s tagline is “Celebrate the Bounty of the Moment.” It captures the joy of eating seasonally, sharing good food, and cultivating goodwill.

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