Photos from a recent feast at Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales
The recent spring's ranch dinner at Stemple Creek Ranch lived up to expectations.
Guests arrived to find meat and veggie appetizers hot off the grill, coupled with cocktails from Wild Craft. Wild Craft is the wandering bar that is attached to downtown's newest cocktail bar, Whisper Sisters Cocktails and Provisions (co-owners Danielle Peters and Erin Clossey were our mixologists for the night), which recently replaced The Drawing Board. Dinner was prepared by Chef Matthew Elias and partner Laine Ayre's excellent Bodega – CA food truck crew, using uber-local sourcing, which of course included meat from the ranch. The food paired perfectly with Barber Cellar wines, including the already sold out 2017 Mr. Beast zinfandel. Corned beef, spring lamb and beef shank could not have been topped, but for the finishing touch was a decadent Meyer lemon custard, made from Bellwether Farm's ricotta.
Stemple Creek Ranch's owners Loren and Lisa Poncia gave a brief overview of their business, which is rooted in carbon farming. Loren is the fourth generation to farm this land, and his father, Al Poncia, just received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marin County Farm Bureau in recognition of his 50 years of service in local agriculture and beyond. The co-founder of Ranchin' Vets, which was one of the benefactors of the night's events, explained how his organization places returning veterans on local farms to help them reconnect to the community and life after time in a war zone.
With its scenic location and chance to meet new friends via communal seating, these regular ranch dinners don't ever seem to disappoint.