The Ripe Choice Experience

Have you ever experienced something so wonderful that you struggle to find the words to describe it? That’s me at The Bloom’s Five-Year Anniversary party at Ripe Choice Farm and Catering.  I’d been in contact with Tammy Lipps, owner of Ripe Choice, for several weeks leading up to the event. I knew I wanted it to be something unique and memorable. Although several of our restaurants promise all those things, I knew I was looking for something a little more intimate, quiet, and off the beaten path. 

Welcome to the Ripe Choice Farm: The early evening glow reluctantly gives way to the onshore breeze that promises cooler temperatures. But for now, a glass of sparkling wine, under twinkling lights and the small chatter amongst friends, makes for a delightful distraction. The barn’s high ceiling helps absorb the day’s warmth amongst its exposed wood. 

The setting seems right, country, rustic, and yet elegant. Locally grown flowers adorn the center of the tables. Linen napkins and a formal place setting all promise tonight is not an ordinary Sunday evening. 

A gentle strum of a classical guitar warms the cracks of conversation. It’s perfect–no, it’s heavenly. The mood suggests it’s an evening not to be rushed.  

Hors d’oeuvres make their way around. Sweet, savory corn fritters briefly interrupt conversations, each bite delicate and light, tempting the tastebuds for more before seeing Tammy’s homemade tomato jam atop fresh ricotta canape and baguette pieces, followed by stone fruits wrapped in prosciutto and mint brighten the eyes with every taste. But the best is yet to come. 

The guests seat themselves and immediately are served fresh watermelon topped with feta, arugula, basil, bits of pistachio, and splashes of balsamic glaze bring a welcome sensation of fresh, crisp, tangy flavors that tantalize the tastebuds. It’s a delight paired perfectly with a glass of chilled local white wine.

The spacing and timing of the meal, conversation, and sips of wine make for a masterfully planned evening by the experienced Chef Tammy Lipps. The main course is a delight to the senses: the juiciest, tender fillet mignon with a fresh herb chimichurri rests on a bed of summer corn, heirloom tomato, blue cheese crumbles, red onion, and arugula salad. It does not disappoint. Other guests enjoyed a Blue Zone-inspired vegetarian lasagna full of bright flavors and basil bechamel, combining all the melodies of the garden. And, of course, all paired with a fresh glass of local red wine. 

A soft chord from the classical guitar adds to the tranquility of a perfect evening under the late night sky. Still, there is no rush as every need is attended and every glass is never empty. 

Eventually, dessert and port wine make their way around the table. Petite peach-chili galette, al a mode sings of summer with every bite. Not to be overlooked is the lemon posset topped with w/lavender shortbread coins. Every taste is smooth and creamy, with the occasional crisp bite of the delicate shortbread coins completing the flavors.

The sounds of the guitar fade into the night, reminding all that even the most perfect of evenings do end. But for this moment, one and all savor a little bit of heaven on earth. Contented smiles fill the barn. It’s a moment to savor and enjoy; just this moment, all is well and perfect. It’s a celebration of all things beautiful. 

Regarding parties and celebrations, I’ve hosted a few in my day. But never once have I had the pleasure of knowing every detail, every worry, and every consideration would be met, thanks to Tammy’s thoughtful communication and planning. All I needed to do was show up and enjoy every moment of the evening.

Tammy also works with any budget but never compromises with quality, time, and care. She always ensures your special day, celebration, and dinner will flow smoothly and without concern. 

Here’s a great idea: For your next special event, let Tammy create a seasonal menu for you, and trust that it will be perfect. You won’t be disappointed.

Ripe Choice Farm and Catering

2550 Soda Bay Rd, Lakeport, CA 95453

(310) 962-4597

Trudy Wakefield

Trudy is the owner and editor for The Bloom. The Bloom's dedicated to showcasing all the good parts of life. If it's good news, you'll probably find it here.

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