Fundraising event will feature great food and good advice

Farm to Fork benefits Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, which works with local families and promotes local producers (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads)
Farm-to-Fork benefits Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, which works with local families and promotes local producers (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads)

Attention locavores: As if there needs to be a reason to celebrate local food, there is one.

On Sept. 16, Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads will have a fundraiser featuring a dozen area chefs from farm-to-fork restaurants.

The chefs will pair up with local farmers and watermen and donate their time and products to present tastings, using local ingredients, that will highlight the variety of produce, meat, and seafood the area has to offer.

Dishes will include things like Filipino dinuguan nachos, savory gazpacho soup, sweet potato salad, fresh seafood, cold-pressed juice, and more – all of which will showcase what’s fresh and local in Hampton Roads.

Rachel Bean, interim executive director of Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, said the event is a celebration of everything local.

“This is a fun event that is like a giant family picnic. There is live music, face painting, great food and drink… It’s just a lot of people having a good time and supporting a great cause,” she said.

This is the ninth year the group has hosted the fundraiser. This year, rain or shine, it will be at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach.

Lori Golding-Zontini, of It Started With a Fig, will be pairing her jams with Capt’n Crabby at this year’s event.

“For me it’s an honor to take part in this amazing event,” she said. “My jams get to be showcased next to some of Hampton Roads most amazing local chefs and farmers … and will be paired with food – the way their meant to be.”

She thinks one of the best things about Farm-to-Fork is that people get to meet the chefs and farmers and ask them questions up close and personal, but is also impressed by the segments that focus on educating people about food waste.

Farm to Fork will be held Sept. 16 at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Rd., in Virginia Beach (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads)
Farm-to-Fork will be on Sept. 16 at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads)

Bean said many area farmers and restaurants use all parts of the animal or the vegetable to make their food. For example, Pendulum Fine Meats is a whole animal butcher that doesn’t waste anything.

“They use less popular cuts of meat and teach their customers how to make delicious food with it,” she said.

Also during Farm-to-Fork, the organization CHOP will be there, showcasing ways to prepare “ugly” vegetables, which Bean said carries over to the work CHOP is doing to bring scratch cooking back to Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Tickets are available on Buy Fresh Buy Local’s website, the Farm to Fork Facebook page, and will also be available at the gate.

Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads is a local nonprofit chapter of the national Buy Fresh Buy Local program hosted by Farm Market Coalition.

Proceeds from the event support printing and distributing of their annual food guide, educational programs, events, and provides operating costs necessary for running the organization.

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