If you don’t remember, last fall I visited Cooper’s Mill Restaurant located in Bethesda, MD and was extremely impressed with the food, atmosphere and service- check out the recap here. In a nutshell Cooper’s Mill stands out from other restaurants in my eyes because of how they source their ingredients. The restaurant is inspired by the flavors of the region and strives to obtain a majority of their ingredients from local farmers/organizations and serves local craft brews, bourbons and gins. To top it all off the rustic, industrial hybrid design of the restaurant is a tribute to Maryland’s (and the surrounding area’s) proud agricultural heritage. Rightfully so Cooper’s Mill’s motto is ‘Eat Local Eat Well’.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit again and attend a sneak preview of the new Cooper’s Mill Chef’s Table Experience. What is the Chef’s Table Experience you ask? Think a private party (12 people max) where the Chef not only creates a 5-course customized meal for you- but also explains the ingredients of each dish, where they came from (even the name of the farm) and any special cooking techniques used to create the dish.
A foodie’s heaven!
The Chef’s Table Experience will be held the 3rd Thursday of each month. Keep a close eye out on the Chef’s Table part of the Cooper’s Mill website and their social (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) accounts on when and how to purchase tickets!
Want to win your Chef’s Table experience? Scroll to the end of the post to see how!
Now onto what we had during our Chef’s Table Experience. The menu is customized for each event so your menu will probably be different than ours. Here is what we had- don’t drool too much!
1st Course- From the Garden
Grilled Kale & Spinach Salad – roasted pear | dried dates | tangelo | green goddess dressing |
Tara’s Take– I know it is crazy to say about a salad but this was probably my favorite course! The grilled kale had an amazing flavor that had me craving more. The other guests agreed. It was so great to be able to ask Chef Chris Estrada how he was able to achieve that awesome flavor.
2nd Course- From the Bay
Chincoteague Charred Oysters – “sausage craft” Saturday night special sausage | 7 locks farmhouse ale | grilled lyon bakery bread |
Tara’s Take– I LOVE oysters in any form. The charred oysters were bursting with flavor and I loved that it was paired with fresh grilled bread to soak up any left over juices.
3rd Course- From the Sea
Grilled Squid – caramelized lemon | baby arugula | pickled radish | farro |
Tara’s Take- I usually find squid (even fried calamari) flavorless and unappealing. Not this dish! Somehow Chef Chris was able to combine the freshness of the squid with citrus and pickled flavors all on top of a bed of farro- a grain I had long forgotten about. Now I want to use it in my own cooking!
4th Course- From the Pasture
Braised Oxtail – Shenandoah hickory glaze | grilled balsamic onion | stone ground blue grits |
Tara’s Take– Oxtail is something I have never tried before and would have never chosen by choice off of a menu. But that is what I LOVED about the Chef’s Table experience. I was encouraged to try things I never would have otherwise. And you know what? I LOVED IT. Chef Chris is a genius when it comes to extracting flavors and pairing them with things you would never think of. Like blue grits!
5th Course- From the Fridge
Evening Snack – Taharka Brothers peanut butter cup milkshake | warm cookies |
Tara’s Take– OH. MY. GOODNESS! This ice cream is out of this world. And paired with a cookie? I was in paradise. This was the perfect way to end the meal.
Want to attend the Chef’s Table experience? You can! Cooper’s Mill is giving away 2 tickets to this awesome monthly event to 1 lucky winner.
To enter to win a 5-course dinner (prize worth $220, or $110 per ticket!) all presented to you by the Cooper’s Mill Chef:
- Visit Cooper’s Mill Restaurant at 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814
- Share a photo of your meal at Cooper’s Mill on Instagram
- Tag @coopersmillmd
- Use hashtag #EatLocalEatWell
Contest ends March 11th 2017! Non-alcoholic drinks included in normal price.
Bonus: The winner will be the first official Chef’s Table guest.
*** This post is sponsored by Cooper’s Mill Restaurant