Wow! December arrived quickly and blew me off my feet. However, I landed strong and am marching through the holiday season feeling okay. We got this, people. After the triumphant Fernweh Paladar, I thought I woke up from the dream, looked around, and saw no way to produce a Dining in the Dark (blindfolded) Paladar in three short weeks. Sorry, ya’ll, but don’t worry. We will make sure to have another blindfolded dinner for you in 2019. Isn’t flexibility great? We have compelling and innovative ideas brewing for the supper club in 2019. You can expect a “Year in Review” newsletter with information soon; including ways you can be a part of the magic. At what feels like a precipice, embarking into my eighth year as director of Polly’s Paladar, I admit to feeling exhausted by the process.

The service industry is brutal and can leave a grown ass woman feeling like throwing in the towel. It’s not for the faint of heart and not for thin skin. I am devoted to developing the Paladar, perhaps not in size, but content. The smallest vegetable packs the greatest flavor, after all. I want Polly’s Paladar to be a cause of gladness to all who partake… and delicious. My vision is for the Paladar to render an avenue towards food justice and I want to help lay the foundation, in our community, for a new paradigm by doing precisely what we are doing. A thriving, interconnected food system is what will indeed keep us healthy. If we can value our local food economy more, we become a vibrant model for other communities to emulate. I believe this starts with self-love. Love your bodies. Feed yourself well. Value vitality. Begin now.

Step one. Read on. Since we have reached the last Paladar of our seventh year, I wanted to go out with a bang. I feel especially proud of this final, remarkable guest chef. He came to Samantha Hinrich’s Greek Easter Paladar in March of 2012 as a patron, but it wasn’t until he and his lovely wife moved back from Ireland that we genuinely had the opportunity to drop in. He promptly requested a stage position at Scarpetta, Chef Aaron Taber’s Paladar (March 2018) and stole our hearts with his impeccable work ethic, his flawless performance on staff, and his dreamy Irish accent. He was one of the final four contestants in The Great Paladar Cook-Off 2018, received 1st place in the principal judged division (a 15 cooks deep playing field), and 2nd place in the overall competition. He also has swiftly become an indispensable part of the Paladar team serving as Kitchen Manager to most of the Paladars since summer. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “Where did you find this guy? He’s incredible?” My answer? “Straight from Paladar Heaven” It’s Chef Alan Gosker’s turn now. Join us for Eanáir.

A native of Galway, Ireland, and a graduate of the Galway Culinary School, he began cooking in continental Europe before moving to Australia. Alan spent three years with the acclaimed vegan, pay as you feel restaurant Lentil as Anything in 2007. Once home, Alan took over a successful farm to table project as Head Chef of Dela on the West coast of Ireland in 2013 with his wife, Delilah. There he married his international experiences with progressive modern Irish cuisine. In 2016 he co-founded the non-profit pay as you feel One World Tapestry, empowering asylum seekers to express their food culture, promote integration, and visualize a multi-cultural future for Ireland. In 2017 Alan trained at Michelin Star Loam under Enda McEvoy and was nominated for Best Chef in Connaught, Ireland. Alan is now a Nevada County resident.

Proper noun
January (first month of the Gregorian calendar)

Cured Scallop / Blood Orange / Roe
Buttermilk Soda Bread / Kelp butter / Pâté and Pickled Mackerel
Mature Cheddar Mousse / Dexter Beef / Samphire
Squid / Shiitake Broth / Nori Seaweed
Fermented Roots / Whiskey Marmalade
Celeriac Remoulade / Beef Cheek / Preserved Leeks
Parsley Sponge/ Peat Ice-Cream / Beetroot

Allowable Dietary Preferences:
Gluten Free

Wine pairings by Sommelier, John Seeger-Gilman with a wee bit of Irish Whiskey all to benefit Sierra Harvest.

Trained as a music therapist with piano as her primary instrument, Lisa Stine then fell in love with the harp and has taught harp lessons to students of all ages privately and in group settings ever since. The healing power of music is evident in the hospital workshop for cancer patients; Lisa has facilitated for twenty years, and she finds it thrilling to help people find a connection through music. Lisa is proudly committed to her community by sharing the harp’s beauty for a wide range of nonprofits and charities. When Lisa is not playing or teaching harp, she likes to run around with her four grandchildren or jam with friends.

Sally’s love for singing is rooted in the traditional song repertoire that traveled with Scottish and Irish immigrants to America — in particular, with her pioneer forebears to the prairies of Montana. Exploring the rich heritage of ancient ballads, Gaelic airs, work songs, and dance tunes feels like an adventure, but also provides a sense of home. Moreover, sharing them warms hearts, lifts spirits and helps to drive cold winter away!

Sierra Harvest formed in 2013 after the merger of Live Healthy Nevada County and Living Lands Agrarian Network, two dynamic young organizations with similar missions. They are a non-profit organization with a mission dedicated to educating, inspiring, and connecting western Nevada County’s families to fresh, local, seasonal foods. Sierra Harvest accomplishes this by offering farm to school programming, supporting farm fresh school meals, mentoring aspiring farmers and gardeners, celebrating our local food community and advocating for just, sustainable and organic food systems. They envision a thriving local food economy where residents of all ages have access to nutritious, local, organic seasonal food through strong connections among farmers, schools, and the community. They also envision a network of financially viable farms providing good food for the inhabitants, where health and wellness is the norm and people are engaged in growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh food. Why is this relevant in our county? Let’s get local about it:
•1 in 3 kids in Nevada County is overweight. Expect a 50% rise in that analysis, in the next 15 years.
•Research shows that kids perform better at school when they are not hungry, and when they are eating a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.
•The average farmer in Nevada County is 58 years old, and less than 2% have a succession plan.
•13,000 families in our county struggle to put food on the table
•If we increase our local food production from 2% to 25%, that adds 67 million dollars to our local economy every year.

To clear up a bit of confusion, I have decided to spell out a little bit how the supper club functions. When you buy a seat at the ticket link, you are paying $80 to Polly’s Paladar. Your 20% service charge goes straight to the staff and servers, 8.375% sales tax goes to “you know who,” and a tiny bit goes to Tock (WHOM WE LOVE). So, please be clear that the service charge goes to our incredible staff and NOT the MAN!

Thanks to all of the generous Paladar members who have chosen to participate in the quest to lower the seat prices at Polly’s Paladar! The first goal is to generate $1000/month using the patronage platform, PATREON.COM. We are 10% funded! This income goes directly toward making seat prices lower which opens up the supper club experience to more people. The costs are rising! Consider giving us as little as $1/month. Read this: If 17% of followers who love Polly’s Paladar (in all of our platforms combined) gave $1/month, we could lower prices dramatically. That is incredibly do-able! There are some great rewards as well. Patrons can hear interviews recorded with past chefs, see menus before anyone else, get a free beverage at Paladars, and even grab some house-made shrubs. We also have a reward to receive VIP access to early ticket releases! Also, for the die-hards, we have a tier giving automatic seats and drinks to every Paladar as long as the donation is active!

A word about phones. The reasoning behind wishing for an interpersonal connection and a desire for guests to completely relax in the present moment when they are at the supper club holds water. The photographer takes the pretty pictures. The guests eat. Food aficionados take photos of their meals. It’s fun. It’s real. It’s a thing. For this one night, power the phone down. Give it a try! It’s okay to keep the mystery alive at Polly’s Paladar!

Amani Mudd (16) and Bella Davis (15) are two of the best teenagers on planet Earth. They are both available to babysit at ANY seating. I repeat, ANY SEATING! Please email [email protected] to request this extra service for the kiddos. Dine downstairs, and right upstairs, your little one/s are in the land of fun and games. Ages 3-12 preferred (but this is not set in stone). Bring a prepared dinner for your child. If no one requests this service by January 4th, I am letting them off the hook, so if you’re thinking about it, get right on that. $10/kid/hour. Side note: If you have a breastfeeding infant and want to come to the Paladar, please know that you are more then welcome. It can get loud, but most of the time babies hear that as white noise. We also have options available for private breastfeeding, if preferred.

Mrs. Mike Kimrey (my high-school English teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. {Class of 1996}) taught me how to write, read critically, and question authority. This tiny woman terrified stupid teenagers to no end, and we are all the better for it. I’ll never forget reading Ralph Ellison’s, “Invisible Man,” Aldous Huxley’s “A Brave New World,” and Albert Camus’s “The Stranger.” I learned how to read between the lines, spot metaphors, and how to find meaning in the stories of authors who wrote fiction as poignant narratives regarding politics and race. I remember the crushing tension when singled out for placing my feet on the chair in front of my desk. When ordered to speak with her after class because I declined to move, this teacher saluted me for holding my ground and not following her commands. I was confident I was getting detention, yet she surprised me even then. Mrs. Kimrey taught me how to move forward into this world as a unique individual and not as just another sheep in the flock. I hope you had a Mike Kimrey. She was much more to me than an English teacher. If you’re out there, Mrs. Kimrey, thank you for everything. I consistently receive compliments on my writing even though I publish newsletters peppered with missed mistakes. I found my voice, because of you.


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