By The Raleigh Telegram
ORANGE COUNTY – Fans of locally grown food and freshly made dishes with locally sourced ingredients can now buy tickets for one of the most highly acclaimed food events in the Triangle.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Farm to Fork Picnic, which is held each year at the Breeze Farm in Hurdle Mills, located in rural Orange County not far from Chapel Hill.
Organizers say the event “pairs some of the Triangle’s best chefs with local farmers and food producers to celebrate local food and local farms.” The event has been so popular that it sold out every year.
Praised as the “Best All You Can Eat Feast in the Country” by Bon Appetit magazine, the event will be held May 20, from 4-7 p.m.
Tickets for the event are not cheap at $100 per person, but the amazing food feast is all you can eat and the price also includes drinks including beer from local breweries, and may be purchased through the Farm to Fork Picnic website. Since the inaugural picnic in 2007, the event has sold out each year to ever-growing crowds.
The event celebrates “slow” foods as oppose to “fast” food, as a growing number of Americans are rejecting heavily processed foods that come from elsewhere in favor of locally grown, fresh foods that not only offer more in terms of nutrition, but are better tasting too.
Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food International, was a distinguished guest at the first Farm to Fork picnic.
One of the event’s participating chefs and farmers is Isaiah Allen, Chef de Cuisine at Il Palio restaurant in Chapel Hill and a new farmer who, along with his wife, established Rocky Run Farm in Hillsborough.
“With a culinary background, growing good honest food just makes sense,” Allen said. “Farming has fallen into place for us and has been heavily influenced during my time spent at Il Palio…Our plan for Rocky Run is to grow produce as sustainably as the land and resources will allow.”
The event is designed to celebrate locally produced and sourced foods and is sponsored by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, the Orange County Breeze Farm Incubator, Slow Food Triangle, and the N.C. Agricultural Foundation.
Proceeds from the event will support new and beginning farmer programs at the Breeze Farm Incubator, including apprenticeships, education, and mentoring for aspiring farmers.
“With the average age of North Carolina farmers at 59, recruiting new farmers is necessary to meet the state’s future food needs,” say organizers.
“Providing new farmers with training and opportunities to have access to land is critical in maintaining our local capacity to raise food. Everyone loves fresh farm products, but unless we address this crisis, we won’t be able to meet the growing demand,” said Center for Environmental Farming Systems Director Nancy Creamer. ::
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Article Posted: Friday, May 10th, 2012.