“Food is more fun when you know where it comes from”…
I could not agree more! That’s why when SobeSavvy.com got invited to Feed the Dialogue’s exclusive Media Event on Thursday, September 7th at 18 Seaboard, I was excited to join them for a night of food, farmers and fun.
Feed the Dialogue is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to “reconnect NC with the foods we eat and the farmers who feed us”. They are passionate about educating North Carolinian’s about our farmers, and the food they grow across the state. This foundation bridges the gap between consumers like us and farmers. So when I received the invitation (see below), I knew I had to go and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions about the food being featured at a restaurant I enjoy here in Raleigh, NC !
Guests were treated to wine from Jones Von Drehle Winery plus a complimentary five-course dinner followed by a panel discussion hosted by Lynda Loveland from WRAL. Three of the farmers, who’s products were featured during the dinner, as well as Chef Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (who prepared the meal) served on the panel.
In preparation for the upcoming panel discussion during the dinner, we were asked to pass along at least one question that you’d like for the panelists to answer. The panelists for the evening:
- Dr. Richard Bonanno | Associate Dean, CALS Director of NCCES
- Lynda Loveland |WRAL
- Scott Farms – Lucama, NC ( If you #lovesweetpotatoes, check out Scott Farms for recipes, tips, tricks and more)
- Moore Brothers Beef – Lumberton, NC (family owned, beef is all natural, non gmo, cattle is grass fed, renowned for their quality of beef)
- Sweet Pea Urban Gardens-Micro-Greens – Raleigh, NC
- Executive Chef/Proprietor Jason Smith | 18 Restaurant Group
Here are some of the questions I presented for the panel:
Question for Scott Farms:
1. How many varieties of Sweet Potatoes do you grow on your farm and can you explain some of the differences between the varieties?
Question to entire Panel:
2. Do you feel the term “farm to table” is being overused in todays restaurant industry?
Question to Chef/Proprietor
3. When deciding on a new menu addition, what one criteria is most important?
Question to Dr. Richard Bonanno
4. In your opinion are there some fruits and vegetables that buying organic is simply not worth the extra cost ?
The panel did not have the opportunity to answer all questions, but here are some answers/quotes from the evening that I took away from the experience.
- Shared ownership plus value..that’s what the whole ‘farm to table’ movement is about
- Local is local no matter what size your farm is
- Don’t be afraid to ask the person who’s growing your food were there any pesticides used
- Moore Brothers Beef is known for having the best quality of beef because their cattle are grass fed and then finished in feed that the farmer creates himself. The feed is 100% vegetarian.
- Farmers are an interesting breed. They’re not in it for the money, they do it because they love it & take pride in what they do.
Also, listed below is the menu + photos I took for the evening:
Heirloom Tomato Salad + Candied Cashew + Sweet Potato Sorghum Vinaigrette
Oyster Beignet + Cotija + Crystal Cane Syrup + Purple Sweet Potato Buttermilk Puree
Beef Carpaccio + Sweet Potato Vichyssoise + Pickled Muscadine + Shishito Mignonette
Butter Poached then Cast Iron Blackened Ribeye + Smoked Hominy + Roasted Japanese Sweet Potato + Pickled Crimson Okra + Burnt Tomato Vinegar
Sweet Potato Hand Pie + Salted Beef Fat-Buttermilk Ice Cream + Lemon Verbena
I had a great time and learned alot at the Feed the Dialogue dinner and panel discussion. The meal at 18 Seaboard was amazing and the people I met (food writers, food bloggers, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and media) , who shared in this experience were wonderful! If you want to see more from the event, check out the hashtag : #FeedTheDialogueNC
For more news and information about animal care, antibiotics, environment, food choices, food safety, food security, gmo/organic, health/nutrition, and trade practices here in NC, follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or website here>> Feed The Dialogue NC.