LAYTONSVILLE, MD -- The Olney Farmers and Artists Market will be holding its first Farm to Table fundraiser on Friday, July 23, 2010, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the PlantMasters Flower Farm, just off Route 108, Laytonsville, Maryland.
A team of local chefs (to be announced) will contribute their special talents by preparing the foods for the five-course, seated dinner, using local farm-fresh ingredients, which they will enliven with their special ethnic touch and pair with select dinner wines from the Rodney Strong Vineyards collection, Sonoma, California. Several to-be-announced Maryland vineyards will provide select wines that will be served with the desserts.
There will be three featured speakers. Food Writer Renee Catacalos, and Author Joe David, Gourmet Getaways, 50 Top Spots to Cook and Learn, will talk briefly to the guests about the art of eating well and healthy; and Robert Larsen, a representative from Rodney Strong Vineyards, will answer questions about the wine and talk to the guests about the art of successfully pairing wine and food. Also, special guest Nadereh Naderi, author of Simply Persian Cuisine and culinary arts teacher at Anne Arundel Community College, will add a light Persian touch to the evening with a food demonstration of several of her favorite hors d’oeuvres from her book.
For the occasion, all food will be supplied by the Olney Farmers Market’s farmers and food vendors.
Renee Catacalos works with consumers and businesses along the sustainable and local food supply chain as the principal of Farm to Table Communications. A former publisher of Edible Chesapeake magazine, she currently serves as Community Building Coordinator for Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. Catacalos is on the boards of FRESHFARM Markets in Washington, DC and the Riverdale Park Farmers Market in Riverdale, MD, the steering committee for Buy Fresh Buy Local Chesapeake Region, and she is a member of the Prince George's County Agricultural Preservation Work Group, Slow Food USA, and Les Dames d'Escoffier. A native Washingtonian, she has written about food and restaurants for a number of local and national publications including the Washington Post newspaper, Black Enterprise, and Farming magazines,www.farmtotablecommunications.com
Joe David has traveled the globe in search of the perfect meal for decades. To support his food habit, he has taught school; worked in public relations, marketing, and magazine advertising; authored countless articles (many on food and international cooking schools) and five books. His recent articles include an interview with the celebrated chef Jacques Pépin and a piece on the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris for U.S. Airways magazine. His food articles have appeared in such publications as Christian Science Monitor, Chile Pepper, Family, Hemispheres, and Go magazines. He currently is on the board of Farm Wineries Council of Virginia, and the author of Gourmet Getaways, 50 Top Spots to Learn and Cook. www.gourmetgetaways.us
Georgetown Cupcake was founded by Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne who traded careers in fashion and private equity to pursue something a little sweeter – their passion for artful cupcakes. They cater for special events of all sizes in the Washington, DC area. Both are lifelong bakers, inspired by their grandmothers. In February 2008, they left their former careers and opened DC’s first and only cupcakery. Katherine and Sophiewill finish off the meal with some all-American gourmet cupcakes, which will be served with a pastry buffet prepared by the farmers market vendors.www.georgetowncupcake.com
Patricia Jinich, is a cooking teacher, food writer and Official Chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute who was born and reared in Mexico City. After she moved to DC, she continued the formal path she had begun in Mexico as a political analyst, and she earned her master’s degree in Latin American Studies. After graduating, she worked at the policy research center, the Inter American Dialogue. Obsessed with food rather than politics, she left her job to pursue her passion: to research, write, cook and teach about Mexican food and culture. In 2007, she launched “Mexican Table”, an ongoing series of cooking demonstrations and tasting dinners at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Jinich has appeared on the Food Network, Fox News, CBS and The Splendid Table, and has been featured in TheWashington Post, The New York Times and The Examiner. She has also taught programs for the Smithsonian Associates and the Meridian International Center. As a food writer, her articles have appeared in The Washington Post and NPR’s Kitchen Window. For the dinner, she will provide the salad course. www.patismexicantable.com (her blog address)
Executive Chef Steven Lukis, Wildfire, Tyson’s Corner, believes that “good food is the best way to bring people together.” He is currently the executive chef at Wildfire, a steak and chophouse that transports diners to the aura of a 1940’s dinner club where some of the best American food and dining traditions are offered. For the dinner, he will be preparing a chicken course. www.wildfirerestaurant.com
The Olney Farmers and Artists Market is the brainchild of Olney resident Janet Terry who was inspired to form the market after visiting the Farmers Market in Charleston, South Carolina. Her vision to bring quality farm foods directly to the Olney market was presented to GOCA (Greater Olney Civic Association) in July 2007 and has become reality since then. www.olneyfarmersmarket.org
Rodney Strong Vineyards was founded in 1959 in Sonoma County, California, by the late Rodney Strong, a former dancer on the Paris and Broadway stages. After retiring from dancing, Strong moved to California where he became a pioneer in Sonoma County’s modern wine industry. One of the first to recognize the potential of this rustic farmland area, Strong helped transform it into one of America’s finest wine-growing regions. To many, because of his early efforts, he is considered a visionary for recognizing the value of Sonoma’s soil and climate for producing world-class wine.
In the wine industry, where place and character matter, a truly special place is essential for growing grapes with character. Next in importance is the winemaking process. Rodney Strong approaches this with gentle handling and careful use of barrel and stainless steel fermentation and oak aging, allowing the grapes to express their intrinsic character.
Today, the winery owns and farms 14 estate vineyards in Sonoma County's prime grape-growing land including Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. The winery continues to win critical acclaim for its Estate, Reserve and Vineyard Designated wines. www.rodneystrong.com
Other contributors to the evening include to date:
Atwater’s Bread of Maryland, which will supply freshly made breadwith certified organic flours, stone-ground by Lindley Mills (www.atwaters.biz); Erick Gilbert of Erick Gilbert’s Kosher Buzz who will prepare mini knish hors d’oeuvres; (www.foodservicerewards.org/profile/ErickGilbert); RSVP Catering of Fairfax, Virginia, which will supply an assortment of their favorite hors d’oeuvres (www.rsvpcatering.com); and several Maryland vintners who will supply a selection of dessert wines.