On Saturday, Chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern Restaurant and The Durham Hotel will join forces with Chef Sam Kass, former personal chef to the Obama family and assistant White House Chef for a special dinner as part of the 2016 Farm to Fork weekend festivities.
Reusing and Kass, who left the White House in 2014 and is now a food analyst with NBC, will collaborate on the five-course meal and lead a discussion on the state of local agriculture in America as well as child nutrition and access to healthy food. The meal will benefit the W.C. Breeze Incubator Farm in Orange County and also the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), a partnership between N.C. State University, North Carolina A&T University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
“I picked the ingredients to tell the CEFS story,” Reusing says. The menu includes Funny Girl Farm picnic eggs, Calvander cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery and strawberries from Whitted Bowers Farm. Reusing isn’t settled on the exact menu yet, however; she plans a Saturday morning trip to the farmers’ market with Kass to show off North Carolina’s food scene and perhaps find last-minute inspiration for a new dish.
As for Kass, he says he is “super excited” to come to Durham, his first visit to the area. “North Carolina is a model for what needs to happen around the country,” he says, noting the close working relationship between chefs, farmers and food artisans in the Triangle and across the state.
The discussion preceding the meal will give Kass a chance to expand on the issues he has advocated for ever since joining the Obamas in the White House in 2008: “How do we accelerate change in our food systems? How do we bring that change to a greater scale?”
Kass is equally excited about his collaboration with the James Beard award winning Reusing. “This is her show,” he says. “I’m here to be a cheerleader for her.” Reusing is enthusiastic about getting Kass to the farmers market and sharing her love for North Carolina’s produce and products.
“These are less ingredients and more people,” Reusing says. “These farmers, artisans and fishermen put their heart and soul into our food system.”
Hungry diners can get a taste of that labor of love Saturday at 6 p.m. at The Durham Hotel. Limited tickets are still available at farmtoforknc.com. Tickets are $195 per person or $220 including signed copy of Reusing’s cookbook “Cooking in the Moment.” All proceeds benefit CEFS and the W.C. Breeze Incubator Farm.
The 2016 Farm to Fork weekend also includes a sold-out Sustainable Supper and Square Dance on Friday at the Haw River Ballroom, and the annual Farm to Fork Picnic Sunday afternoon at the W.C. Breeze Farm in northern Orange County.
For full event details and to purchase tickets visit farmtoforknc.com.