There’s a lot going on at Cattle Run Farm (www.cattlerunfarm.com) as I quickly discovered when I pulled into the gravel driveway on the first day of spring. I parked next to a white VW bug with a 4H sticker on its side and soon found myself talking with Sarah Morton. She was readying the main house for its upcoming grand opening as the Sarah James Inn, an Airbnb destination. If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the farm life, including cooking with fresh vegetables pulled from the garden paired with beef or pork from animals raised here too, be sure to look for an announcement in June 2021.
Chef Reid Badger and his wife, Alison, have always believed in the connection between food and community. It is no coincidence that they have created a small catering kitchen nestled “between the hills” of their farmette where they live with their daughter in western Loudoun County.
Both studied archaeology; Reid at VCU and Alison at Pennsylvania’s Indiana University. It wasn’t long before Reid realized his passion was cooking, so he left VCU for the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. He has spent 20 years in the private culinary world. It was rewarding and demanding work, and it laid the foundation for his vision of farm-to-table cooking.
Alison used her degree to focus on project management, so it’s likely that you’ve seen her at many venues and fundraisers, such as Save Rural Loudoun. Working through the pandemic together, the couple realized the abundance of food that can be found here, so they decided the time was right to establish a catering kitchen that emphasizes local ingredients alongside Chef Reid’s culinary expertise. One of his specialties is making his own sausages, which was something he picked up while working in Santa Fe. He also enjoys baking his own bread, often using local flour from Hanging Rock Hay and Grain, or featuring breads from Bolivar Bakery in nearby Harpers Ferry.
Each week, they prepare sandwiches available Wednesday through Friday (while they last) and three course meals available for pickup on Friday at their new storefront at 24 E. Broad Way in Lovettsville, Va. There is an array of specialized menus featuring locally grown ingredients. Imagine bringing home dinner that consists of White Bean and Vegetable Minestrone Soup, Braised Beef Short Rib with Mashed Potato Casserole, and Spiced Pear Bread Pudding. How about Chef Reid’s house-made Irish Style Pork Sausage stuffed in steamed cabbage leaves and topped with a caramelized onion gravy paired with a creamy Colcannon? The Badgers make sure to offer excellent vegetarian options too, like Hummus and Farro Kawarma and Red Chili Mushroom Burritos. Desserts could be a buttery shortbread with caramel and chocolate ganache or possibly chocolate Mexican wedding cake cookies.
The Badgers are members of the B&B Guild, so if you’re staying in one of the B&Bs in and around Hillsboro, you might want to pre-order a meal for a Friday evening arrival. Additionally, they make scheduled drop-offs at Kalero Winery and Two Twisted Posts Winery, as well. Private dinners are also part of this dynamic duo’s portfolio. They’ve catered weddings (up to about 120 people) along with special events, like when the Hillsboro Players host shows at the Old Stone School.
The menus are updated weekly and posted to their social media channels (primarily Facebook), website, and email lists. Future plans including stocking local products, like honey and flour, for sale in the shop. If you’d like to stop to pick up your order and see what’s cooking, look for the flag signaling “OPEN” at 24 E. Broad Street in Lovettsville. For information about Between the Hills Events and Catering and to check out the menu for sandwiches and Friday night dinner, go to betweenthehillsevents.com.
Story by: Beth Miller-Herholtz | Photo by: Beth Miller-Herholtz