During the peak of the pandemic, Kirsten Gjesdal and Rachel Meyer were on their daily stroll with their children when the two began dreaming of the things they missed during quarantine.
“We missed the conviviality of gathering with people and exciting food offerings,” admitted Meyer.
As the two continued chatting, they were committed to starting a dinner party group, perfect for curious food lovers.
In the fall of 2021, Gjesdal and Meyer hosted their first event under the pair’s new venture, Golden Hour Supper Society.
“Our goal in founding Golden Hour Supper Society was to provide a unique dining experience for folks living in Brookings and the surrounding area,” said Meyer.
“All of our dinners have been held within 10 miles of Brookings, but we’ve considered expanding.” – Kirsten Gjesdal
Golden Hour creates unique dining experiences that are open to the public as ticketed events that feature guest chefs and various styles of food.
The pair’s goal is to continue to bring a community of people together who enjoy trying new things including adventurous or upscale cuisine, while connecting with others who appreciate whimsical events.
Since its inception, Golden Hour has hosted six events. Each dinner is produced in different locations that fit the theme and vibe of the dinner.
“We’ve been in a refurbished barn, between rows of grapes at a winery, inside an old church, and other interesting places similar to those,” said Gjesdal.
Their most recent themed dinner paid homage to a trip to the county fair. Blue Ribbon Fare was aimed at a celebration of making an event out of everyday life.
605’s Alana Snyder, Cailyn Patterson, and I made our way to Midway Camp in Volga to experience the carnival-influenced dinner.
“Golden Hour Supper Society events can contribute to bringing vibrancy to Brookings, and can uniquely be spontaneous and fluid in terms of food style and event themes.” – Rachel Meyer
THE GOLDEN HOUR TOAST
To satisfied bellies, stimulated minds, & open hearts. Cheers!
The rustic bar and event venue transported its guests to a night at the fair with checkered tablecloths, balloons, peanuts, saltwater taffy, and various carnival games.
In collaboration with En Place Catering, executive chef and co-owner Jordan Taylor of Bread and Circus Sandwich Kitchen and Pizza Cheeks created a multi-course menu inspired by elevated fair food.
The summer night began with a cocktail hour served with a Sweet Corn Fritter, topped with Hot Pepper Jelly, and paired with alcoholic or non-alcoholic Strawberry Lemonade.
After the introduction of Meyer, Gjesdal, new members, and Taylor, guests were read a poem and celebrated the Golden Hour Toast. Following, guests made their way to their seats at a large community table, where we indulged in five courses.
Our first course was a smokey Mini Nacho topped with Texas Red Chili, a pickled jalapeño, and crema. A classic Bratwurst Corn Dog followed, paired with Chow Chow and pickled mustard seeds.
Our third course consisted of Tomato and Basil Shaved Ice with herbs and croutons. Next, we were served a Mini Walleye Roll, complemented with lemon, tarragon, and Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips.
After taking time to chat with friends, old and new, it was time for the main course, the Smoked Turkey Leg. The fair-favorite was served on top of a Bacon and Potato Pancake with Bratwurst Gravy.
Our meal concluded with a take-home box for leftover turkey legs and sweet homemade, fair-inspired ice cream. Each guest had a taste of Sweet Corn, Caramel Apple, and Oreo ice cream and could add Funnel Cake Crumble, Oreo, or sprinkle toppings.
GOLDEN HOUR EMBLEMS
In an effort to hold a physical memory of each event, Gjesdal scours thrift and antique shops for on-theme metal animals totems.
Throughout the night, attendees played fair games including a balloon-dart wall and a tin can throw. Cailyn, Alana, and I each walked away with prizes of small whale figurines, which mine sits proudly on my desk.
“It was truly a memorable night,” reminisced Meyer.
The Golden Hour Supper Society hosts two to three ticketed dinners a year. Meyer shares that tickets are available for purchase on their website up to a month and a half in advance of the event date.
Guests with allergies or dietary restrictions should not shy away from Golden Hour dinners, as Meyer and Gjesdal work to accommodate everyone’s needs.
“We accommodate food restrictions as best as we can and always have non-alcoholic options for beverages,” said Meyer.
Golden Hour Supper Society continues to encourage its guests to step outside their comfort zone and enjoy great company and meals.
“My hope is that we continue to tap into the heart of what society is really about in unique ways and always bring something new to our members,” expressed Meyer. “The heart really is incredible food and connections right here in the Brookings area.”