Registration is open for Oct. 9 farm-to-fork experience
Here’s your chance to feast like a Dame – and support women who work in food and agriculture. (And healthy eating for kids, too!)
Registration is now open for the Village Feast, a farm-to-fork celebration of Northern California’s bounty and the contributions of women to food and drink. To be held Oct. 9, this major fundraiser is hosted by the Sacramento chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International – the top professional organization devoted to women in the food and beverage industry.
Proceeds go towards scholarships and training to support women who want to pursue careers in food, wine, agriculture and related fields. Proceeds also support healthy food programs in Davis schools.
“The Village Feast has a long and rich history going back to its founding in Davis in 2003 by (former Davis mayor) Ann M. Evans and (author) Georgeanne Brennan, who cherished the traditional grand aioli feasts of the villages of Provence, France,” explains Rachael Levine, the Feast’s co-chairperson and treasurer of LDEI’s Sacramento chapter. “Recognizing the bounty of our Valley’s farms and food producers and its similarities to the Mediterranean, they believed it would be a perfect fit for our communities.
“The Village Feast soon became the premier fundraising event for Davis Farm to School,” Levine adds. “It went on hiatus for about four years before we brought it back in 2018, this time as a partnership between both Les Dames d’Escoffier Sacramento Chapter and Davis Farm to School.”
In past years, the Village Feast included an actual sit-down communal dinner for 350 people, held at Davis Central Park. But due to COVID restrictions, the Feast’s format had to switch to something different.
“In 2020, we pivoted to the current online format and it was a smashing success!” Levine says.
For the second consecutive year, the Village Feast will be “virtual.” Festivities will be live online from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. No tickets are sold; all proceeds come from the auction or direct donations.
Registration is free to participate in Virtual Village Feast fun including an amazing online auction. In addition, participants may order pre-cooked meals or farm-fresh boxes inspired by the Village Feast spirit from participating restaurants.
“Unique to the online program are partnerships with Sacramento- and Yolo-area restaurants, retailers and the CSA (community supported agriculture) Farm Fresh to You,” Levine says. “Village Feast-inspired meals to-go along with local wines are offered at a number of locations along with complete ingredient kits and recipe collections to cook your own feast at home. We have always prided ourselves on the event being sustainable and this virtual format allows us to keep the tradition going through our food and wine partners.”
To register, go to https://thevillagefeast2021.eventbrite.com on Eventbrite. Registration gives you access to information on ordering your Village Feast-inspired meals.
The auction is now live online with more items being add all week. Follow this link, https://www.auctria.com/auction/VILLAGEFEAST, to view the Dames’ collection filled with food and drink, fabulous experiences, get-a-ways, and arts and crafts.
Registering to bid is easy; just click the link provided on the auction’s home page. The auction will continue through 6 p.m. Oct. 9, closing after the Feast’s live session.
The auction features many one-of-a-kind foodie experiences including two separate weeks at Brennan’s own historic French farmhouse in Provence. Evans will lead a Yolo County farm tour and tasting.
Cheesemonger Sara Arbabian, owner of The Rind and a participant in the recent Tower Bridge Dinner, will host a cheese and bubbles tasting. Chef Jonathan Moon will create a “complete picnic for six” including a custom-made picnic basket.
Mulvaney’s B&L, Chocolate Fish, Plan B, Flatstick Pub, Taylor’s Market, Nugget Markets and The Farm Table are among those food establishments who donated special meals or gift baskets. Several wine and beverage tastings are up for bid as well as hands-on experiences such as bread baking or marmalade making.
“When you join us on October 9th and donate or win one of our fabulous, wholly unique auctions items, your generosity will help Les Dames d’Escoffier Sacramento continue to provide scholarships for aspiring women,” Levine says.
Funds last year went to scholarships or housing stipends for women participating in: Saint John’s Culinary Program for Real Change; American River College’s Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management Program; Court of Master Sommelier Americas entry level sommelier courses; California Farm Academy training programs at the Center for Land-Based Learning; and professional development courses within restaurant and hospitality fields.
Levine adds, “Proceeds are evenly split also helping Davis Farm to School fund programs in Davis public and private schools that help underwrite free farm-fresh, local produce to Davis Joint Unified School District students in conjunction with school meals; in partnership with Fiery Ginger Farms, free edible plant starts to the community at our Grab ’n Grow plant giveaways; garden grants to start new school gardens or improve existing school gardens; and the development of preschool through 12th grade programs for cooking, recycling, gardening and the environment.”
In addition to supporting these two hosting organizations and all their programs, the Feast also supports participating local restaurants, farms, wineries, retailers and other purveyors of food and drink, notes Levine. By supporting the Feast, patrons also support the “Village” it takes to make it happen.
More about Les Dames Sacramento: https://lesdamessacramento.com/.
Debbie Arrington is a founding member of Les Dames Sacramento.