At the end of May, The Side Yard Farm's Stacey Givens hosted Urban Farmer Chef de Cuisine Chris Starkus for a joint "One Mile Farm Dinner." The event, which took place at Givens' urban farm, offered a chance to give a dozen or so diners a taste of vegetables farmed and foraged from within a mile. What they may not have known at the time was that the dinner also offered a taste of some soon-to-drop news, namely that an episode of Chopped on which both Givens and Starkus competed, was set to air on the Food Network at 10 p.m., Tuesday, June 30.
Naturally, neither Givens nor Starkus could say which of the show's four contestants survived, nor how many rounds, if any, either of them sailed through, but they did say that the theme that tied the whole show together was ice cream. Tuesday's episode, titled Scoop's On!, was filmed about a year ago in New York City.
Prior to the filming of the show, Starkus and Givens had never met, but after chatting each other up for the first time over a cup of coffee in a midtown Starbucks, they realized they knew a lot of the same people and had a similar approach to cooking, namely, growing their own ingredients.
It's no secret that Givens is a farmer, but Starkus has been tending—and expanding—Urban Farmer's rooftop garden atop the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.
"It was pretty great," Givens says of meeting a new foodie friend. "We got along great. I got a friendship out of it—a chef-y friend."
As for what's next, Starkus is looking forward to his next installment of his "Under the Antlers" dinner series, which is scheduled for August, and which features him collaborating with Departure's Gregory Gourdet.
Meanwhile Givens says she's in the middle of catering season, so she's been swamped. She's also planning a bike-in movie night at the farm on July 8 with Royale Brewing beer, Morgan St Theater ice cream, and a to-be-determined flick like The Sandlot.