Farm-to-table cooking seems commonplace these days, but North Andover’s Smolak Farms sets the table right at the farm with its annual Whim Dinner Series. Held every Wednesday evening until Aug. 28, owner Michael Smolak recently kicked off the pop-up dinners for the ninth season. Some of the region’s notable chefs — Andy Husbands of The Smoke Shop BBQ, Tyler Kinnett of Harvest, Daniel Gursha at Ledger, Ned Grieg from Woodman’s, and others — take turns cooking the multicourse feast using the vegetables, herbs, and fruits grown in the fields of the 120-acre, lush property. Smolak says the idea of the dinners came to him one night. “I woke up in a sweat and had a whim to start a dinner series,” he says. Served under a tent (rain or shine) among the pine trees overlooking a pond and the farm’s heirloom apple orchard, the chefs create the menu based on what’s available that week. Tickets are $85, excluding tax and gratuity. Wine and beer and soft drinks are offered for purchase. The bar opens at 5:30, and dinner is served at 6:30. A portion of the proceeds goes to each chef’s charity of choice. From time to time, you may need to revel in a pastoral setting and breathe country air, and this is a wonderful way to do so. For tickets and menus go to www.smolakfarms.com, 315 South Bradford St., North Andover. 978-682-6332, ext. 0.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND