Imagine having a wedding on a Northwest island that is known for its farm fresh food and culinary talent. Next envision the most highly acclaimed chef on the island as your personal chef for your very own wedding event. That’s what you get when you hold your special occasion at Red Rabbit Farm run by Chef Christina Orchid and her husband Bruce.
For nearly 30 years, Christina Orchid was the chef and owner of what many consider to be Orcas Island’s finest restaurant. Christina’s was heralded and cherished by many including Nancy Leson, author of Seattle Time’s Food Blog, All You Can Eat. Nancy claimed that dining at Christina’s was the first restaurant experience to knock her off her feet after moving to Seattle in 1988.
I ran into two members of Edible Seattle’s editorial staff, Angela Murray and Jill Lightner, who both raved about how Christina was one of the first to popularize the concept of a farm to table dinner. The staff at The New Leaf Cafe, one of Orcas Island’s nicest restaurants, told us how much that they all look forward to having their annual staff retreat at Red Rabbit Farm.
Bruce and Christina are now enjoying semi-retirement and the only way to taste their food is through select private catered events, Farm to Table dinners, and cooking classes through their stunning farmhouse at Red Rabbit Farm. After visiting their farm, we knew immediately that we wanted Christina to serve food for our event. We envisioned a smaller and more intimate dinner at Red Rabbit Farm and we decided to have them host our rehearsal dinner instead of the entire wedding.
Red Rabbit Farm does not possess a liquor license so we had the liberty to bring the wine or beer of our choice. I met with Ron Lachini of Lachini Vineyards and purchased a case of their Oregon Rose of Pinot Noir. We also went with a fantastic value of a Bordeaux, L’Ecuyer de Couronneau that was purchased from our friends at Pike and Western Wine Shop.
I couldn’t help but hype up the event to all our friends and family that was attending the rehearsal dinner. As anticipation grew and the date crept closer, I grew anxious of whether the experience was going to meet the extremely high expectations that have been built up.
Let me tell you right now that the event of eating at Red Rabbit Farm not only met and exceeded all expectation, but can arguably be filed away as one of those once in a lifetime dining experiences.
Planning and coordinating a wedding weekend can be quite stressful, but once we arrived at Red Rabbit Farm, good company, great conversation, and unbelievable hosts kicked us into nostalgia. We were able to relax and enjoy delicious food, fantastic service and catch up with friends and family who had flown from around the world to be with us.
Bruce and Christina delivered on the promise that the dinner would celebrate the bountiful pleasures of life as they kept the food coming. Family style passed platters paraded down our dinner table as we cheerfully dined our way through braised short ribs, roasted chicken legs, Lopez clams with fennel and garlic, buttermilk mashed potatoes, summer corn pudding, strawberry shortcake and much more.
To add to the expertly prepared farm fresh and local food was the ambiance of Red Rabbit Farm. On top of a hill overlooking Deer Harbor surrounded by mountains, farms, forests, and fields, the farmhouse and long communal dinner table provided an ideal picturesque setting that can usually be found on the cover of travel magazines. We ate, talked and laughed as the sun set in the harbor.
As a testament to how enjoyable the food was, Christina received a standing ovation from the 46 family and close friends who attended our dinner. Everyone agreed that it was one of the best meals of their lives and a number of guests bought Christina’s cookbook.
Our rehearsal dinner was such a culmination of family, friends and love in the setting of a celebratory feast. I know that we all wish that we could relive our dinner at Red Rabbit Farm over and over again. It was a night and a meal we will cherish for a lifetime.