Thursday, November 24, 2011

A day to give thanks

What’s this Foodie thankful for this year?

As another year starts to wind down, I find myself reflecting on 2011 and capturing some of the moments, big and small, that I have been fortunate to have been a part of:

Slow Food RVA:  As a still maturing organization, Slow Food RVA took real strides this year in promoting the ideals of Good, Clean, Fair Food.
  • We shared raw milk and cheeses at our Annual Meeting, hosted the TEDX viewing party at St Stephens Episcopal Church;
  • organized a Slow Food Happy Hour with the Anderson Gallery and brought in producers such as Manakintowne Growers, Avery’s Farm, Pizza Tonight, and Olli Salumeria, as well as the Indigenous Gourd Trio ;
  • held our first film festival Reel Food RVA at the  Byrd Theater;
  • Partnered with Hardywood Craft Brewing for a beer tasting and tour of the new brewery

Many many thanks to Stacy Luks for her tireless leadership and for Tracy, Jamie, Ashley and Jo-de ‘s support throughout the year.

Know Your Veggies and the Holton Garden
Know Your Veggies, a pilot program promoting healthy eating for elementary school kids, finished the school year strong last May with over 80 classroom visits, thanks to the efforts of Chef’s Ellie Basch and Sally Schmidt as well as many volunteers.  Thanks also to Bon Secours for providing nutrition education. We’ve had a slow start this Fall, but have added some Parent/Child cooking classes as well.  Under the leadership of Susanna Raffenot and Ellen Shepard, the Holton Garden is growing and providing great experiences for students and volunteers. And the outdoor classroom was a winner of a 2011 Golden Hammer Award!

Thanks to the national Foodie thoughtleaders Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan and Josh Viertel. And my favorite locals, The Richmond Food Collective; Eating Richmond,  and The Frontier Project .

Dominic Barrett and Steve Miles at Shalom Farms are carrying the torch for Food Security in the Richmond area. Providing great volunteer and education opportunities at their farm in Goochland and much needed fresh produce in Richmond’s food deserts, they are one of Richmond’s jewels.   Had a chance to attend a fundraising dinner created by Mezzanine’s Todd Johnson last month and was moved by the community of supporters.

The Richmond market scene
I am truly thankful for the Richmond market community that nourishes our city. Thanks to SOTJ, St Stephens and the Byrd House markets for providing sustenance and community. Thanks to Amy’s Garden and Victory Farms and Pizza Tonight and Nate’s Tacos and Manakintowne and Faith Farms and Tuckahoe Plantation and Agriberry and Drumhellers and all the rest who make Saturday mornings my favorite time of the week.

Richmond Restaurants
To the newcomers who have added some great dining options to Richmond’s food landscape: 

Secco  - Kudos to Julia, Tim and Peter for providing a European experience without the airfare.

Pescados China Street  Todd and company bringing Richmond some of  the best fish around.

The Rooselvelt   -  Kendra Feather  and Lee Gregory hit a homerun with their new Church Hill spot.

And thanks to the regulars that have kept me nourished and caffeinated:
Mamma Zu, Kuba Kuba, Mekong, Pho So I, 8 1/2 , The Empress, Enoteca Sogno, Lamplighter……….

Last but not least, I am thankful for my family and friends without whom the table would be empty. Thanks for breaking bread together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pizza Tonight= Meatballs too !

Pizza Tonight has done it again.... the same nice folks who show up all over town with their wood fired oven on wheels, and sell their wonderfully supple dough and pizza kits, have added meatballs to their repertoire.

A collaboration with Sausage Craft, Victoria shares her old family recipe with RVA.  Spaghetti and meatballs can be on the dinner table in just a few minutes.  I made my first batch for dinner tonight, and was happy with the texture and flavor.

Look for them in the places you find Pizza Tonight's dough and kits, like Fall Line Farms, Relay Foods, River City Cellars, Ellwood Thompson's or the South of the James Market.