NROG hosts Chefs Showcase Dinner July 27

By Frank Ruggiero (frank@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Jul. 16 | Modified: Jul. 16
NROG hosts Chefs Showcase Dinner July 27

New River Organic Growers is hosting a Chefs Showcase Dinner on July 27 at Springhouse Farm in Vilas, featuring local food prepared by local chefs
Photo courtesy of Springhouse Farm



Here they grow again.

New River Organic Growers, a farmer’s cooperative based in Fleetwood, is hosting a Chefs Showcase Dinner on July 27 at Springhouse Farm in Vilas, featuring local food prepared by local chefs, including Ken Gordon of The Gamekeeper and John Dean of G’s at Gideon Ridge. The dinner will also serve pizza from the Farm to Flame food truck and beer from Appalachian Mountain Brewery.

According to NROG, all of the ingredients hail from local farms in the High Country.

“Like our customers have always valued in our goods, the freshness is key to our success in local food,” said Caleb Crowell, NROG’s chief operating officer, in a previous interview, adding that restaurants that buy from NROG share that particularly fresh advantage — one that customers can truly taste.

Diners can also meet the faces behind the food, as some of NROG’s participating farmers will be in attendance. They’ll also have a chance to meet the chefs and even take a tour of Springhouse Farm, where they’ll encounter its many denizens, including chickens and pigs.

The dinner starts at 4 p.m. at Springhouse Farm, located at 433 Silverstone Road in Vilas. For directions and more information, call (828) 719-6825, or visit http://www.springhousefarm.net. Tickets cost $45 for adults and $10 for children and are available online at http://www.newrivergrowers.com/#!fund-raising/ca1v or in person at the Zydeco Moon booth at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market.

According to an NROG news release, the organization was founded in 1998 as a means to help farmers transition from growing tobacco to other crops and has since grown into a large cooperative selling local food to restaurants and retailers throughout the High Country and Asheville areas.

“Our dinners highlight the crucial link between farms and restaurants in providing high-quality local products,” the release reads. “Our baby carrots, fingerling potatoes and heirloom tomatoes are just some examples of the products chefs use in preparing unique and flavorful dishes for their customers.”

According to Crowell, the dinner is partly due to the strong support received from local chefs and customers, as well as a growing interest in collaborative — rather than competitive — dining.

“When I talk about support, chefs are oftentimes buying from our local growers, as opposed to cheaper products from out of state,” he said. “We do consider them partners in our local food growth.”

For more information on New River Organic Growers, visit http://www.newrivergrowers.com, or call (828) 773-1588.

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