Event recap – “Grow To Go” Fundraiser Invites People to Cook & Connect
On Tuesday, August 25, the Marion Institute (MI) embarked on a virtual culinary and dining experience with Little Moss Restaurant in Dartmouth, MA to raise funds for Grow Education’s community school gardens, in-class programming, and collaborative Farm-to-School initiative.
The partnership was a match made in locavore heaven: the Grow Education program is working toward creating the foundational norm of healthy eating to support community health and wellness. Access to foods made with fresh, local ingredients, devoid of preservative and additives, and prepared in a culturally relevant way can help shift community healthcare from a disease centered approach to one that reinforces disease prevention and health creation. The critical importance of healthy eating has been brought to light and reinforced by the current pandemic, which has been particularly devastating to individuals with underlying health issues such as diabetes and obesity, which are easily traced to food habits and nutrition.
Little Moss works with local farmers and fishermen to serve their guests some of the finest ingredients in New England. This unwavering commitment to fresh, local food is what solidified our connection to Little Moss and paved the way for a spirited culinary collaboration for the modern age.
Chef Lisa Lofberg, aided by “sous chef” and MI Executive Director, Liz Wiley, guided an audience of at-home chefs through the process of making a delicious, locally-sourced meal with all the fixings.
At sign up, guests were offered two ways in which to cook-along with Chef Lisa and Liz, one called the “Locavore Package” in which all ingredients (and a bottle of wine!) were provided and presented in a MI-branded insulated tote, and the other which provided a shopping list whereby participants could procure their own ingredients, using local sourcing recommendations provided by the Marion Institute. Both options granted registrants access to the private live stream master class with Chef Lisa, which took place at 6pm on the evening of the 25th.
Chef Lisa’s menu was a South Coast twist on “Taco Tuesday” and included New Bedford Scallop Ceviche, Locally-Caught Bluefish Tacos with a Lime-Yogurt Sauce and Pickled Red Onion, and Cucumber Sorbet. Those who opted for the Locavore Package also received a bottle of rosé wine. Guests were encouraged to create the evening’s signature cocktail while they prepped the ingredients prior to the event. The Padanaram Paloma, a refreshing twist on the classic recipe, was demonstrated by Little Moss’ bartender via a video distributed to guests a few days prior to the class.
Despite some technical issues with sound quality, the live-stream class was very well-received by participants; see below for photos sent to us by our virtual chefs! Our first foray into live-stream virtual programming will not be our last and we look forward to future opportunities to feature local culinary talent and advocates for local agriculture!
Special thanks to Chef Lisa Lofberg for the gift of her time, as well as the scallops, pickled onion and lime yogurt sauce, and Little Moss Restaurant for their generosity. We’d also like to extend thanks to the local farms and businesses whose products were featured: Foley Fish, Sid Wainer & Son, Round the Bend Farm, and Westport Rivers Winery.