FRESHFARM Markets 10th Annual Farmland Feast : Local Feasting Is Not Just a Movement, It Is a Lifestyle
Foodies and those with an extreme fondness for local farm fresh foods came out in droves Monday evening for the annual FRESHFARM Market Farmland Feast held at the Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC.Â The cocktail hour offered guests an array of silent auction items focused on all parts of life like Play and Nourish. Whether bidders were aspiring to walk out with bottles of fine wine or liquor, trips, experiences, private dinners, foodstuffs or what not, they knew if they won before they left the room to enter the main ballroom, as the silent auction ended pre-dinner.
Chefs Mike Costa (Zaytinya), Scott Drewno (The Source by Wolfgang Puck), Haidar Karoum (Proof, Estadio, and TBD), Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora), Alli Sosna (MicroGreens) and Ryan Wheeler (Virtue Feed & Grain) created, cooked and handed over hors d’oeuvres like chestnut cabbage dolmasi with dill yogurt and local truffles (my personal favorite) and smoked sweet potato soup with parsnip bark & micro parsley.Â The specialty cocktail to go with each of the chef’s dishes was PrePEAR to Bid Hye with Bitters & Rye made with Catoctin Creek rye and Foggy Ridge Serious Hard Apple Cider.
Our four course dinner was a meat eater’s dream (they kindly gave me substitutes) with a delightful veal dish by Cesare Lanfronconi (Lia’s and Chef Geoff’s), then pan roasted rockfish by Jeff Buben (Vidalia) – total comfort food with the gold rice grits. The main course by Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve) was a roasted loin of Virginia lamb and dessert was done by David Guas (Bayou Bakery), a spiced sweet potato cake.Â Each course had local wine accompaniments which were poured with expert handling by guest sommeliers which included Todd Thrasher (Restaurant Eve), Elli Benchimol (Adour), Craig Erion (Restaurant Eve), David Hale (Michel Richard), Brent Kroll (Adour), Joe Quinn (Proof and Estadio), John Wabeck (Eat Good Food Group) and Sebastian Zutant (Red Hen-I hadn’t known he’d left Proof!).
Bernie Prince and Ann Harvey Yonkers the co-executive directors and founders of FRESHFARM Markets thanked all of the supporters and spoke to the growth the organization has worked so hard to achieve over the past 15 years and Mike Koch of Firefly Farms, spoke from the heart of how FRESHFARM has helped his own Garrett County creamery business expand.
The most interesting part of the night was the live auction by Patrick Shane O’Neill, who raised money consistently throughout the meal with items like a St. Barth’s Villa for four, a week in Tuscany at Borgo Finocchieto for four couples, gleaning the fields, a week for twelve in Cote d’Azur, France and many many other extravagant food and wine-type adventures all donated generously.
To learn more about FRESHFARM Markets and the good they do for the local farm community and our health, please go to www.freshfarmmarkets.org.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a platform for profiling people who "make it happen" in the Capital region, reviews & topical blog posts. She launched Punch Enterprises, a connector consulting business in 2015 and Pacific Punch based in LA, in 2012. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, VA. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.