Chefs Rob Connoley and Rachael West are joining forces for a special evening of Ozarks cuisine at the beautiful Forest Garden Yurts in Reeds Spring, Missouri, on Aug. 25. The seven-course dinner will feature a contemporary interpretation of traditional Ozarks food with a focus on foraged and hunted ingredients.
Both chefs value connecting people with Ozarks cuisine. Connoley, a James Beard Awards semifinalist and the owner of Bulrush in St. Louis, does this through a historical lens, exploring the late 18th and early 19th century – the time when both Native Americans and settlers occupied the hills of the region – through food. Connolly uses hyper-local, hyper-seasonal ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques to create exquisite dishes while respecting and honoring the collaboration between those cultures.
West, owner of Eating the Ozarks, focuses on wild foods education in southwest Missouri. Throughout the year, she hosts wild edible walks and personalized classes, in which participants learn to forage, identify useful plants, cook with wild edibles, preserve food, make plant medicine, remove invasive species and more.
The one-night-only event created by Connoley and West will bring history and foraged foods together like never before. Tickets are $100, with proceeds benefiting A Taste of History, a PBS show that unites history with food and travel.
“Rob and I have been friends for a few years now; we connected over foraging,” West says. “It’s always been my goal to partner with other chefs who inspire people to connect with the Ozarks. When Rob reached out, I was delighted to have the chance to work together on an educational menu serving such a great show.”
Although the full menu for the evening has been kept under wraps, diners can expect Ozarks-inspired cuisine created with local farm and foraged ingredients. Summer pickles, rich preserves, fresh greens and delectable meats will surely make their way onto the table, and each delicious course will be served in the intimate setting of an enchanting yurt in a beautiful Ozark forest.
Purchase your ticket for the event here. Dinner starts at 7pm on Aug. 25.
Forest Garden Yurts, 23732 MO-413, Reeds Spring, Missouri, exploretock.com/bulrush/event/291762/springfield-mo-ozarks-with-chef-rob-connoley