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Real Local RVA’s February 2019 Meeting – Farm to Table Panel Discussion
February 4 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am
Please join us for our first meeting of 2019!
We are thrilled to bring these five participants in the local food movement together for a discussion on local sourcing in RVA. Moderated by Robey Martin, Richmond’s go-to journalist for everything edible, the restaurants will share their approach to local sourcing, and the farmers will discuss their business plans for selling wholesale. You will hear how some of these restaurants and farmers have already worked together, and what they see for the future of “Farm to Table” dining in Richmond. We’ll look forward to sampling Birdie’s Pimento Cheese and enjoying coffee from the Cafe at St. Stephen’s.
**Real Local RVA meetings are open to both members and those interested in supporting the local food system. Meetings are free, we just ask that you register!
About the Panelists:
David Crabtree-Logan – chef – The Broken Tulip
David co-owns The Broken Tulip with his wife Sariann Lehrer. David first stepped foot into a kitchen 17 years ago after a high school friend passed the baton of a Saturday dish washing job at the legendary Susie’s Wholefood Diner in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was hooked and went on to train in some of Scotland’s top kitchens including the Michelin-starred The Kitchin and The Plumed Horse. David to spent his twenties as a journeyman cook in the truest sense of the world, working in Ireland, Oregon, Yorkshire and Bristol and traveling in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Western Europe, all the while delighting in the endless capacity for humans to create deliciousness from what they have available to them and becoming certain that the learning of a cook can never be complete. As head chef of Iglu Ethical Eatery and Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, David worked directly with some of the United Kingdom’s foremost organic farmers and came to understand the value of direct relationships with the people who produce our food. David is committed to working in collaboration with food producers to create interesting, delicious and heartfelt menus which reflect the time and place in which they are served.
Susan Davenport – co-owner – Tazza Kitchen
Susan Davenport is one of four owners of Big Kitchen Hospitality which operates six Tazza Kitchen restaurants throughout Virginia and the Carolinas. Overseeing HR and customer engagement, Susan has her hands in all aspects of the business including sourcing and branding. Tazza centers on made from scratch wood fired cooking, thoughtfully sourced ingredients, and craft beverages. Based in Richmond, the group is getting ready to launch a new to-go food brand titled The Big Kitchen in Scott’s Addition. The entirely new concept complements the restaurants, but involves fully prepared meals that consumers order and pay for online, then either pick up at The Big Kitchen or have delivered. Tazza is known for its attention to fresh seasonal foods and ingredients from local purveyors, and plans to carry this concept over to The Big Kitchen.
Joe Jenkins – co-owner – Bow Tide Farms
Joe owns Bow Tide Farms, a ¾ acre urban farm in Richmond’s Northside, with his business partner Josh Dziegiel. Joe jumped into gardening in after having a dietary need for his wife to have natural foods. After being introduced to the work of a few modern pioneers in low-tech, high-output urban farming, he began the business in 2017. Josh has experience working on an organic vegetable farm in Hanover, VA, for three seasons. Josh also he lived on a renowned farm in southern Quebec as an intern, immersing himself in the techniques, skills, and market gardening lifestyle. Joe and Josh have combined forces to grow and sell tomatoes, root vegetables, and salad mixes to local restaurants. After years of working in the restaurant industry, both Joe and Josh have an interesting background of resources as they are very familiar with the ins and outs of running a restaurant. They have recently developed a strong partnership with Tazza kitchen and are selling to them on a regular basis.
Chris Stem – owner – Harlow Ridge Farm
Along with his family, Chris owns Harlow Ridge Farm in Montpelier, VA. Harlow Ridge Farm raises Berkshire and Tamworth Pigs, Black Angus Cattle, Red Sex Link Hens and a variety of meat goats and sheep. With the desire to do something he was passionate about, while also bringing in money and creating a sustainable business, Chris turned roughly 22 acres of his land in Montpelier and property rented from his neighbor into a sustainable and completely organic produce and dairy farm that serves the local community. In 2018 he partnered with fellow farmer Bruce Johnson of Dragonfly Farms and 3 local businessmen to re-open the former Cross Bros. Grocery in Ashland under the name “Ashland Meat Co.” The store offers fresh local food, including a full-service butcher, a carryout deli menu, and a host of locally-produced pantry items.
Mike Ledesma – chef – Perch
From Baltimore to Oahu to Richmond, Mike Ledesma’s culinary travels and Filipino heritage continue to inspire his cooking. Once a financial advisor, he made a career change in 2002 when he enrolled in culinary school in Hawaii. Since moving from desk to kitchen, he’s worked under “Iron Chef” Roy Yamaguchi and has brought his passion for food back to the East Coast. Most recently he led operations, training, and menu development for six restaurants as corporate chef for Richmond Restaurant Group. He opened his first restaurant, Perch, in Richmond in 2018.