An Evening At 1818 Farms With Chef Jakob Reed
Dinner On The Farm
Pulling into Mooresville is like stepping into a Southern twilight zone. The colonial houses have such a pristine look one wonders if anyone even lives in them. A row of lanterns guides you down the path toward the farm, with tea lights emitting just enough to cut through the haze of the fog, and offering a celestial glow around the tent. The tent runs parallel to a giant patch of vegetable stalks, many of which were the origins of the produce being used in tonight’s meal. Strangers sit side-by-side, enjoying each other’s company and nodding in agreement with compliments on the food, murmuring in between bites.
This dreamy setting is no twilight zone at all, but rather the second of two yearly dinners held by 1818 Farms and Albany Bistro chef Jakob Reed. Growing up in Lawrence County, Alabama, Jakob Reed spent his summers working in his family gardens. What was once a chore has turned into a lifestyle, one that he wished to return to after spending time in the city of Nashville. In an attempt to combine the homegrown goodness he was raised on with his passion for sharing meals with family and friends, Reed established Albany Bistro in historic downtown Decatur, Alabama, in 2009. Shortly after, he stumbled across 1818 Farms on Facebook, and after realizing they were “just over the river,” decided to visit. Three years later, the relationship continues to thrive as the intrigue surrounding farm-to-table dining grows. The farmer-to-bistro bond between 1818 and Reed is unique; both business equally love the food they produce and both seek the most sustainable path to do so.
This past Friday, the pair held their final dinner of the season at 1818 Farms. Reed experimented cooking with different types of spirits, wines, and beverages, a favorite culinary pathway of his. The menu, consisting of 1818 produce and pork from another local farmer just down the street, was fresh and innovative, two trademarks of Reed’s work.
For those looking to indulge in a sustainable, Alabama-grown meal, 1818 Farms hosts a dinner with Chef Reed twice every summer, as well as cooking classes throughout the year. Additionally, Reed's own restaurant in downtown Decatur, Alabama, offers a seasonal menu made sustainably with local goods. For more information please visit www.1818farms.com, or head to Decatur to scope out Chef Reed's latest and greatest addition to his menu, emphasis on the great.