An Earth Day Weekend Success

by Apr 23, 2018

We celebrated our second birthday and Earth Day 2018 in a big way at Hope Farms on the weekend of April 21 and 22. More than 600 guests appeared and transformed the farm into a rollicking venue of education and fun on Saturday, and on the following day 50 guests feasted at one long table at the inaugural Chefs in the Field Supper in our UnitedHealth Foundation Gathering Barn.

To kick off the weekend, a full slate of diverse artisans and community partners — including The Children’s Museum, Magpies & Peacocks, The Garden Hen, Hive Bee, Living Well Therapies, Shana Ross Fitness, author Erin Hicks, Old Country Olive Oil, United Health Foundation, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company — gathered at the farm and provided guests with learning opportunities, educational outreach, and artisanal foodstuffs. Darren Grigsby cooked up some fine brisket and boudin, while Local Foods grilled artichokes and other delicacies. Smart in the Kitchen, Chef Michael, Urban Chef and the Recipe for Success culinary team gave hands-on cooking classes in the Gathering Barn, and actor, Laura Bellomy read to tots and youngsters under the Lace Elm Tree. All that, and much more, made Saturday a wonderful one.

On Sunday, sapphire skies, bountiful fields, 50 guests, three chefs, Texas wines, a hot new grill, and a stellar menu–including freshly harvested produce from Hope Farms — made the Recipe for Success Foundation’s inaugural Chefs in the Field Supper at Hope Farms a success by any measure.  

All members of the Foundation’s Advisory Board, volunteer chefs Jean-Philippe Gaston (Izakaya), Vincent Huynh (Agricole Hospitality), and Greg Martin (Bistro Menil)– who built the new grill themselves as a gift to the Farm — wowed guests on Sunday night, during which the 50-foot-long table laid out in the farm’s Gathering Barn was the scene of delicious fun.

Festivities began in the Chef’s Kitchen Garden where Agricole Hospitality proprietor, Morgan Weber poured his signature Indianola Distillery Old Fashioneds, and Foundation Board member, Kathryne Castellanos and her volunteer brigade passed grilled polenta cakes and octopus bites along with Christian Martin Blanc de Blancs and Saint Arnold beers. After exploring the fields and meeting the chickens, guests took their seats for a five-course feast featuring wines from William Chris Vineyards. Progressing from Hope Farms veg crudité and roasted beet borscht to melt-in-your-mouth short ribs and whole grilled snappers–all served family style, the meal concluded with Dairy Maids cheeses, Bee Hive honeycomb and strawberry shortcakes. Sponsors Blue Horizon Seafood, Buckhead Meat, Hive Bee Farm donated their top-quality provisions for the evening.

Spotted at the table: tennis great Zina Garrison, Bryan Christ, Emily and Robert Clay, Dona & Al Clay, Erin Stewart O’Leary, Shamika Johnson, Genevieve and Shawn Patterson, Melanie and Daniel Ringold, Lisa and Paul Mason, Marnie Greenwood, Ana Llovera and Carlos Gonzales Centano, Sheryl and Ernie Rapp, Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Yasmine Haddad and daughter Tatiana, Honi and Glen Boudreaux, Haley and Michael Carter, Ann and Tom Bastian and Recipe for Success Founders, Gracie and Bob Cavnar. The evening raised $12,000 for Hope Farms Community Outreach programs.