Eat out to help a flooded farmer
The Sept. 21 floods that drenched Atlanta brought heavy damage to a number of North Georgia farms as well as local favorites including Canoe restaurant and Hope’s Garden Pesto.
If you want to help, there’s a slew of benefits coming, from the Field of Greens festival, Oct. 4 at Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm in Walnut Grove, to Afternoon in the Country at Serenbe, Nov. 8. Expect good food, often with beer or wine, at all of the events. If you want to lend a hand at the farms, check out Georgia Organics’ list of who needs assistance.
Here’s what’s coming up:
1. Field of Greens mixes top-drawer chefs, locally grown food, live music and environmental education in a family friendly environment. Tickets are $15 for adults; children ages 12 and younger are free. Among the restaurants providing tastings: Dynamic Dish, JCT Kitchen, Rosebud, Restaurant Eugene and Rathbun’s. Tastings are from noon to 3 p.m.; from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. there’s a three-way pig cookoff, with 4th & Swift, 5 Seasons Brewing and Woodfire Grill competing. There’s an extra charge for a full plate of barbecue.
2. Rosebud, a Morningside restaurant known for its support of local farms, is turning over the next week to assist its suppliers. The restaurant is donating 15 percent of the proceeds from Oct. 5-Oct. 11 to the Georgia Flooded Farms Relief Fund, administered by Slow Food Atlanta. The food’s great anytime, but the seven-course Street Foods dinner on Oct. 8 is a great time to explore chef Ron Eyester’s cooking. The $38 menu includes lobster tacos and barbecue duck steamed buns (tax and tip are extra). To reserve: 404-347-9747.
3. Kevin Gillespie, executive chef at Woodfire Grill, plans a benefit at 6 p.m. on Oct. 11 for Love is Love Farm. He'll be cooking a four-course meal with wine pairings for $100, with proceeds going to the farm. High waters from Anneewakee Creek washed away the farm’s prized topsoil, destroyed its irrigation system and ruined much of its fall crop.
Gillespie is a contender on the latest edition of "Top Chef," airing at 10 p.m. Wednesdays on Bravo. He's winning raves from the judges for his Southern-influenced, honest cooking. The event starts with cocktails at 6 p.m. To reserve: 404-347-9055.
Love is Love Farm is operated by Judith Winfrey, co-leader of the Slow Food Atlanta convivium; and Reynolds, who works to set up school gardens as well as running a community-supported agriculture program and the farm. They're regulars at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Saturday, and also are among the operators of the Local Farmstand at Star Provisions.
4. Canoe, nearly submerged when the Chattahoochee River poured over its banks, looks to be out of commission for repairs for a couple of months. Restaurant owners are trying to find temporary jobs for employees so they can keep the team together when the restaurant reopens.
Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna plans a three-course benefit meal for Canoe employees on Oct. 11. Dinner is $33 per person, including beer, wine, food, tax and tip; they’re taking reservations between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Proceeds go to Canoe employees who have been left jobless. Reservations required: Call 770-434-1114.
5. The Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Buckhead, where Hope’s Garden Pesto and Love is Love Farm are regulars, is collecting funds at its market information booth. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-noon, Saturdays through December, in the parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Philip.
6. Two big food and wine events from the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames D’ Escoffier International wrap up the benefits. Evening in the City, on Nov. 6, and Afternoon in the Country, on Nov. 8, benefit the group’s scholarship fund for culinary students as well as Georgia organic farmers impacted by flooding.
Evening in the City, 7-10 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta (downtown), offers food, beverages, valet parking and entertainment for $150. If you want to stay at the Ritz overnight, there’s a special package for $149 that includes a room and breakfast on Nov. 7.
Afternoon in the Country, 1-4 p.m. at the Inn at Serenbe just outside Palmetto, features more than 80 chefs, restaurants and caterers, as well as microbrews and wine.
Participants include Bella Cucina Artful Food, Canoe, Aria, Abbatoir, Avalon Catering, Babette’s, Via Elisa Fresh Pasta, Moet et Chandon, Park 75 at Four Seasons, Farm 255, and a number of other restaurants participating in the other benefits, all strong supporters of local farms. Tickets are $95 for adults, $35 for youths ages 13 to 20, and free to those 12 and younger. Get your tickets now if you want to go; the event sold out last year and is expected to do so again.