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Second Harvest fundraising event features local farmers and chefs

Staff Report • Sep 13, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is teaming up local farmers and local chefs for the annual The Farmer & The Chef fundraising event on Thursday, September 13, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Blackthorn Club at the Ridges. This annual event highlights the Farm-to-Table concept that has become very popular with chefs and consumers alike. Many chefs, restaurants and individuals are buying their produce directly from farmers or grocers that specialize in local farm products. The Farm-to-table concept has arisen with changes in attitude about food freshness, food seasonality and small-farm economics. Many local Chefs seek out heirloom fruits and vegetables and other farm-fresh products for the finest ingredients available. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is embracing this concept with The Farmer & The Chef fundraiser. Everyone attending this year’s event will be able to enjoy some of the freshest and best food our area has to offer. Featured chefs include: Executive Chef James J. Allen - Blackthorn Grille at the Ridges, Jonesborough, TN, James graduated at the top of his class from Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, MN. He continued his training at a Top 100 restaurant in Ireland, where he learned the importance of supporting local farmers and the impact it has on his menu items. Chef Mickey Rhoton - Yong Asian House, Gray, T, Mickey is a native Northeast Tennessean and has become an accomplished sushi chef; Chef Michelle Rueter - Earth Fare, Johnson City, TN - After graduating from Le Cordon Blue, Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Michelle has worked as a chef for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, for the Mall of America, and as a traveling chef for the NASCAR circuit. Chef Brian Higgs - Bonnie Kate Cafe in Elizabethton, TN; and Executive Chef Larry Barbeau – World Class Catering Featured farmers include: Jeff and Jolene Stratton, Chapo’s Chile Patch, Jonesborough, TN – Chapo’s Chile Patch is a small family grower specializing in chile peppers, eggplants, and a variety of herbs utilizing either organic or heirloom seeds; Gabe and Charity Hinkley, The Good Fork Farm, Fall Branch, TN – This small family farm growing specialty and traditional produce, and raising heritage breed poultry and pastured pork. Laura Fitzgerald, Lil’ Sprouts, Gray, TN – Laura specializes in growing unusual varieties of plants, including heirloom vegetables and hard-to-find herbs. Lori Love, Grains, Kingsport TN – Grains sells freshly-baked artisan breads and muffins at local farmers markets.Dale Myers, R & D Farms, Bristol, TN – R & D Farms offers free-range, grass fed Angus beef, pork and lamb. All animals are chemical and hormone free. Brent, Jeri and Cheyenne Cox, Shiny C Farms, Fall Branch, TN – Shiny C Farm is a locally-owned family farm that provides grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free longhorn beef to the Tri-Cities area. John & Andrea Woodworth, Ziegenwald Dairy, Gate City, VA – This family-run goat dairy manufactures goat cheese in a variety of styles and flavors and raises a naturally grown produce and heirloom seeds. Steve & Fran Scott, Scott’s Blueberries, Unicoi, TN.In addition to the wonderful food there will be many great items featured in the live and silent auction at the event. Tickets to The Farmer & The Chef are $75 each and table sponsorships are also available. All proceeds benefit the work of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. Reserve tickets now by calling (423)477-4053 or visit www.netfoodbank.org for information.

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