Photos by Jody Dole

Our story

In 2007, Jonathan Rapp of River Tavern Restaurant in Chester, Connecticut, Chip Dahlke of Ashlawn Farm in Lyme, and fellow chef Drew McLachlan of Chester CT created Dinners at the Farm, a series of benefit dinners celebrating Connecticut's local farms, food and community as a way to generate awareness of the importance and vitality of our local farming community and the delicious, wholesome and abundant food it provides us. Recreating a sense of connection to farming, cooking and eating is what Dinners at the Farm is all about.

Each of the dinners highlights the richness of our local traditions of farming and fishing and the often forgotten value of eating fresh, vibrant food that was just harvested by a dedicated farmer you know and trust. The multi-course feasts are cooked fresh that day off the back of our signature, red, vintage cook truck–a 1955 Ford F-600.

Dinners at the Farm also strengthens our community by helping to raise funds for local agricultural and humanitarian non-profit organizations. Over the past ten seasons, Dinners at the Farm has fed over 10,000 guests at 100+ dinners, donated $150,000 and directly purchased more than $200,000 worth of food and wine from Connecticut producers.

In addition, our project has generated extensive local and national media coverage including an episode on the Cooking Channel, coverage in Time, Food & Wine, NYTimes, and many regional and local publications. Our biggest honor came when members of our team were invited to the White House to help former First Lady Michelle Obama launch her “Chefs Move to Schools” program in 2010. Plus, Dinners at the Farm was awarded the 2008 PathFinder Award for their support of local agriculture. All combined, Dinners at the Farm has made a significant contribution to celebrating and promoting Connecticut Grown products.

Some of our current and past beneficiaries are: Connecticut Farmland Trust, Slow Food Connecticut, CitySeed, Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries, Working Lands Alliance, Region 4 Schools (Get Fresh 4 Schools), The New Connecticut Farmers Alliance and the Stanton Davis Homestead among others.

Working together we have created an event that helps support our farms, farmers and community. We hope you will join us.


The Dinners at the Farm team at White Gate Farm

The Chefs & Our Team

Greetings! Dining right in the fields of a farm is one of the best ways to savor the fresh, juicy flavors of summer. At each of our dinners we serve delicious multi-course feasts of food grown right in the fields of our gracious host farms Barberry Hill Farm in Madison CT, and White Gate Farm in East Lyme CT. Our dinners offer a memorable dining experience where guests savor course after course of just-from-the-earth food cooked fresh that day. Our menus are spontaneous, created that day and based on what’s available. Together we break bread and raise a glass with the farmers, fisherman, and others who make up Connecticut’s vibrant agricultural community. And, as with every year, our dinners are benefits.  We donate $20,000 towards the critical work of our beneficiaries CitySeed, Connecticut Farm Land Trust, Working Lands Alliance, Region 4 Schools and The New Connecticut Farmer Alliance. Sign up to our emails and “like” us on Facebook and be among the first to know when tickets go on sale.  Join us! We look forward to seeing you down on the farm. Click here for more about our farms & beneficiaries.

The Farm Dinner Cook Truck - Vintage Ford F-600.