‘Outstanding In The Field’ a Success for Haley, Farmers

by Dave on September 14, 2010

Among the dishes enjoyed by 140 guests at the Outstanding in the Field event in Delaware was the crab claw and corn mayonnaise appetizer. Submitted photo

You would expect to find crystal, white linen napkins and china in one of SoDel Concepts’ six Delaware beach restaurants. But you might not expect to find them on the beach, with the surf curling around the legs of the diners’ chairs.

Yet on Sept. 6, that is exactly what happened. Arranged end-to-end under a cerulean sky, tables snaked along the surf line with seats for 140 diners, who enjoyed a menu featuring local ingredients along with the sea breeze.

Matt Haley, owner of Rehoboth Beach, Del.-based SoDel Concepts, was the guest chef at Outstanding in the Field’s first Delaware event, held at the Indian River Life-Saving Station. OITF goes coast-to-coast touting local ingredients, local farmers and the fresh food culture. Some of the top chefs in the nation participate in the events.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day or a more perfect setting,” says Haley. “It was a memorable backdrop for the cuisine.”

Haley’s Sussex County-centric menu included blue crab claws with corn mayo; lobster deviled eggs; fresh pea soup with truffle oil and pea shoots; smoked bluefish; pickled zucchini and squash; heirloom sun gold tomato-and-cucumber salad with herbs and shaved onion; tri-color potato salad; grilled marinated rockfish with roasted garlic, tomatoes and herbs; chilled oyster salad; nectarine, peach and chili corn salad; roasted vegetables; Fish On’s apple pie with streusel topping; and NorthEast Seafood Kitchen’s peach-and-blueberry crisp.

The ingredients, wine and beer came from Delaware purveyors including Lewes Fish House in Lewes; Nassau Valley Vineyard in Lewes; Good Earth Market Farm in Clarksville; Parson’s Farm in Laurel; Fifer Farms in Wyoming; Tomato Sunshine in Rehoboth Beach; The Farm in Georgetown; Kogler’s Old World Breads in Lewes; Southern Wine & Spirits in Wilmington; and Twin Lakes Brewery in Greenville. Valery and Rick Cordrey of the Cordrey Center in Millsboro and East Coast Garden Center served as hosts.

Along with owning six beach restaurants, Haley is a partner at Highwater Management, a hospitality management company, and Plate Catering, which features a farm-to-table option for 50 on its catering menu.

Both the OITF event and a similar event at Good Earth Market earlier this summer were so successful that it’s likely you will see similar events by SoDel and Plate Catering next season.

About SoDel Concepts

Founded by Chef Matt Haley, SoDel Concepts was named to the 2009 Inc. 500, which lists America’s fastest-growing private companies. The company’s restaurants include Fish On in Lewes; Betty’s Pure & Simple and Lupo di Mare in Rehoboth Beach; Bluecoast in North Bethany Beach; NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View; and Catch 54 in Fenwick Island. SoDel also owns Plate Catering. Haley and partners Bryony Zeigler and Scott Kammerer also own Highwater Management, a hospitality management company that helped launch Que Pasa in Dewey Beach and Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach. Highwater currently manages Fins, Claws, Sports at the Beach and Waterman’s Seafood House in Ocean City, Md.

press release from SoDel Concepts

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