The Henry Ford brings elegance to wild game dinner Friday at the museum


If a menu featuring wild game conjures up images of rustic dining, think again.

The Henry Ford's Local Roots fall dinner on Friday will take wild game dining to a new level. The dinner will be a multicourse, sit-down affair and will unfold in the elegant ballroom at Lovett Hall, a popular site for receptions and a venue once used by Henry Ford to entertain special guests.

"You see a lot of wild game dinners out there, but ours is going to be different than any other," says Jesse Eisenhuth, director of food service and catering at The Henry Ford, which includes eateries in the museum, village and school. "We like to do things differently. We're going to make this a fine dining event. This is something our guests have not seen before. This is something truly elegant."

The menu takes wild game up a notch, and every course offers at least a hint of a less common meat. Hors d'oeuvres, for example, include squab Buchee and Duck rillettes on Zingerman's crostini. A salad of local greens and Michigan cranberries will be crowned with a roast pheasant breast. And dessert? A maple-wild boar bacon sauce will complement a warm heirloom apple flan with cinnamon ice cream.

The dinner, part of the historical complex's Local Roots program, highlights the Dearborn institution's commitment to using locally grown produce, meats and other fare at its restaurants, employee dining, catering services and special programs. Nearly 100 percent of all food products come from Michigan vendors and farms.

"We're hyper focused to use anything local that we can," Eisenhuth says. "It's the core of our food and beverage service here."

All of the wild game at Friday's dinner is from Michigan. The pancetta wrapping the venison loin — the evening's entree — is house made. The Henry Ford cures and smokes a lot of its own meat and fish. "The pancetta will help take some of the gaminess out of the venison," Eisenhuth says. Even the bourbon used in the chanterelle sauce accompanying the entree is from a Michigan distillery.

The fall event is among four or five Local Roots dinners held each year. The theme of each seasonal event changes except for the summer barbecue held at the spacious Greenfield Village Pavilion (near the Carousel). That event is the most popular of the Local Roots dinners, drawing some 300 or so guests.

In contrast, the wild game dinner will be limited to about 150 guests.

"We try to make (this event) very special and limited," Eisenhuth says. "We want to make sure it comes off the best that it can. We want to make sure our guests have the best experience possible."

'Local Roots Fall Evening Dining'

6:30 p.m. Friday

The Henry Ford

20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn

Ticket $68


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