“A Farm to Table Panel Discussion”
moderated by Robey Martin of CBS 6 and Eat It! Virginia
Sponsored by C&F Bank
We might be biased, but we think our first meeting of 2020 was pretty great! We were thrilled to bring these five participants in local food together for a discussion on restaurant life, farming life, and local sourcing in RVA. Our panelists included: Emmanuel Baiden – private chef – Manny Eats, Barbara Hollingsworth – co-owner – Village Garden RVA, Caleb Shriver – chef/owner – Dutch & Company, Brittanny Anderson – chef/co-owner – Brenner Pass, Chairlift and Metzger Bar and Butchery, and Dominic Carpin – owner – delli Carpini Farm.
The room was buzzing early with local food chatter, while guests sampled sauces from Clark and Hopkins and herb spices from Village Garden RVA. So much great networking happens at the beginning of our meetings that it’s difficult to cut it short to begin! We kicked off the conversation with introductions and comments about what local foods the panelists are currently enjoying. The conversation moved from the realities of sourcing local from both a farmer and chef perspective, to distribution challenges, to quantity challenges, to the importance of developing relationships, to finally the realities around the power of the consumer. We touched on infrastructure challenges as well as certification challenges for farmers. The chefs talked about the difficulties they have in purchasing local meat because often it’s hard for them to use the whole animal.
Our moderator, Robey Martin, kept the discussion on point and the audience engaged. Panel discussions are some of our favorite meetings because of the variety of perspectives offered in such a short amount of time. Our guests were present and supportive, and the room was certainly excited about this topic. We took lots of questions from the audience! If we had one regret it’s that we needed more time. Thanks to all who joined us, thanks to Clark and Hopkins for the samples, St. Stephen’s Church for the space, and C&F Bank for sponsoring the meeting.
Next month we will be back at St. Stephen’s on Monday, March 2nd with Sara Harper from Grounded Growth. Thanks to Karen Stephens with Joyner Fine Properties for sponsoring our next meeting. We’ll sample delicious vegan cookies from our member and 1st ever Help to the Shelf winner – Favour Cookie Co. and enjoy coffee from the Cafe at St. Stephen’s.