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Q&A: Farm to Plate Benefit

f2plogo.jpgNext Wednesday, May 7, the Sustainable Food Center, which runs the Austin farmers’ markets among other endeavors, is putting on a benefit called Farm to Plate — described on the SFC website as “exclusively showcasing the fresh, local food directly sourced from member farms of the Austin Farmers’ Market.” It sounds cool, but I had a few questions… So I asked Susan Leibrock of the SFC, co-organizer of the event. Here’s what she said:

1) Will *all* of the ingredients be sourced locally?
While Texas offers a wealth of products grown and/or made in-state, there are of course items which cannot be grown, or do not naturally occur here. We have simply asked that our chefs use as many locally sourced products as possible in their recipes for Farm to Plate. For example, Chef Jennifer Bartos, of FoodNetwork Cake Challenge fame, will be baking Austin Farmers’ Market (AFM)’s fifth birthday cake for the event. Jennifer has used numerous ingredients from AFM vendors, including butter, sour cream, heavy cream and milk from Remember When Dairy, as well as herbs such as lavendar, rosemary and mint, which she’ll be combining in bite-sized mini-cupcakes (as if the birthday cake weren’t decadent enough!).

2) How many chefs will participate, and how will they all fit on one plate?
We have fifteen chefs in total, including Chef Charlie Ayers, “the chef who fed Google,” who’ll be coming in from the Bay Area to appear at Farm to Plate and sign copies of his new book, Food 2.0. Each guest will be given their event programme and a Bambu plate upon entry; I don’t expect the tastings to last long enough on the plates to cause a space issue!

3) I understand that this event is a benefit for the Sustainable Food Center. What will the proceeds pay for, specifically?
Proceeds will go primarily toward the Austin Farmers’ Market (the one that takes place downtown on Saturdays and at the Triangle on Wednesdays), a program of Sustainable Food Center, and also for project expenses for our educational programs such as Grow Local and The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre™ that aren’t fully covered by other sources of funding.

4) I heard on the radio that this is a “ticketless” event. How do I sign up?
To use a credit card, visit our website and click on GET TICKETS! You’ll read as you click to purchase ($60 each) that we are not issuing tickets, in order to limit paper waste, but rather, add all buyers’ names to the guest list with the number purchased, which will be checked upon entry. If you’d prefer to pay with cash, check or debit card, stop by the Austin Farmers’ Market info booth on Saturday morning – look for the big blue tent at 4th and San Antonio and get your name on the list!

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