The organization’s signature fundraiser features an inspired menu that showcases heirloom ingredients sourced from within 150 miles of Kingsport. Limited seating of guests is a mixture of not only donors and partners, but also the program recipients who the non-profit organization helps to build and maintain sustainable agriculture in our Appalachian region.
Local is the theme of the evening. Sylvia Crum, communications and development director of ASD, said that the money the gala brings in stays local and that the entire event is based around local resources – from the foods and drinks to the live entertainment and auction items.
According to Crum, MeadowView chef Robert Siguenza is working with local farmers to prepare an inspirational meal to show guests how rewarding local fresh foods taste.
“It’s always fun to watch people’s eyes light up when they see how good local food is,” she said. “We told Robert to creatively build a menu that’s fresh, beautiful and flavorful. What he came up with is exquisite.”
Guests of the gala will enjoy things like grilled watermelon and feta salad, tender pork topped with pickled cabbage slaw, citrus tomato-cucumber salad, beef and pork meatball marinara over spaghetti squash, and summer corn salad. Featuring an open bar, guests can wash it all down with Yee-Haw Brewing Company beers and Reedy Creek Vineyards wine while enjoying live music by Norwegian Wood and Corbin Hayslett.
“The intention of the gala is for everyone to recognize the importance of supporting and collaborating together in order to build a strong local food culture, said Crum. “Every time we spend money on local resources, we’re helping farmers stay on their family farms and we’re rebuilding the small communities that dot the rural Appalachian landscape.”
ASD serves 16 counties within Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The organization believes that farming and agriculture are key economic drivers that address food insecurity and also help to build a healthy vibrant food culture. They have several programs they use to encourage people to visit their farmers market, ask for local ingredients at their favorite restaurant, encourage schools to offer classes in agriculture and culinary, and grow their own food at home.
Proceeds from the Farm to Fork Gala stay in the region to continue the work of sustainable agriculture. Seating is limited to 250 guests. Various sponsorship, reserved tables of 8, and individual tickets in mixed seating are all available at asdevelop.org.