Fieldstone Farms’ annual fundraiser, Chefs Unbridled returned to its home turf this year. Eleven top-notch chefs from Cleveland’s hottest restaurants came, cooked, and served under a beautiful, enormous tent on the polo field of the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club in Gates Mills.
Organizers indicated the event (with a capacity of 600) sold out earlier than ever this year. Tickets were snapped up and gone by July. This is an event done up right – putting patrons first, a mission at its core of course, but also just a heck of a good time. First, top shelf wine, beer, and liquor. If that’s not enough, there’s always the local angle, with spirits to taste from Chagrin Falls-based Tom’s Foolery, and most excellent brews to quaff from Auburn’s 8th Day Brewing Company. Then there’s the bourbon raffle, the wine pull with over 200 bottles, carriage rides, and of course, the food. OMG, the food.
This year there was zero wait time to start in on the small plates. Good thing, too, because there was so much to sample, time was best spent trying a plate or two, taking a breather, and then going back for more. The offerings ranged from sushi to steak tartare, to hand-crafted meatballs, Mexican street corn, spicy pulled pork over rice, not to mention rich, huge servings of honey-soaked baklava. It was a foodie free-for-all.
But above all, it was about the horses and the work Fieldstone Farms undertakes throughout the year. Their programs embrace and encourage children, teens, and adults challenged by handicaps both mental and physical, veterans, schoolchildren, in fact anyone who hopes to gain skills, confidence, as well as gain an equine friend from a stable of 33 therapy horses.
The event netted over $340K, a record for the organization. As a result, Fieldstone Farms will be able to work with one thousand students of all ages over the coming year. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER