Feasting for FEAST, a fundraiser for one of Slow Food Asheville’s newest educational programs, takes place Thursday, Sept. 22 at downtown Asheville’s The Venue, a two-story event space on Market Street.
FEAST is an acronym for fresh, easy, affordable, sustainable and tasty — what the organization emphasizes that food can be. To that end, FEAST provides free hands-on cooking classes to kids in schools and after-school programs and works to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets. One of the missions of FEAST is to communicate the impact of food on the body and brain. The program also shows how food — specifically food preparation — can improve problem solving and communication skills. This realization is dawning on child advocates and educators across the country; just last week, The New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Helen Zoe Veit, an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University, in support of the revival of home economics classes in schools. “Reviving the program, and its original premises — that producing good, nutritious food is profoundly important, that it takes study and practice, and that it can and should be taught through the public school system — could help us in the fight against obesity and chronic disease today,” Veit writes.
“We have made great strides with the FEAST program, but we still have a lot more work to do,” says FEAST director Kate Justen. “Feasting for FEAST is an important fundraiser for the program and will allow us to continue to improve the lives of children in Western North Carolina.” Justen will offer cooking demonstrations at the event, enabling attendees to experience the experience of the FEAST firsthand.
Participating restaurants in the event include Corner Kitchen, Cúrate, Table, West End Bakery, The Market Place, Cucina 24, Café Ello, Fiores Ristorante Toscana, Restaurant Solace and The Southern Kitchen and Bar. Blue Ridge Food Ventures will also donate locally produced sauces, jams and salsas. Roots Café will donate hummus.
The theme for the event is autumn harvest, and Asheville’s own Farm Girl designs will assist with the decor. Sara Fields Jazz Trio will provide music. The event is hosted by Asheville Affiliates in collaboration with Slow Food Asheville.
The Venue is located at 21 N. Market St. The event begins at 6:30 and ends at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 prior to the event, $30 at the door and include unlimited food and drink. Tickets may be purchased at slowfoodasheville.org.