Long Table Dining Among The Herbs!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recently, I had the opportunity to both attend and photograph one of the latest culinary trends to take over our city. On March 15th, The Social Feed organized a communal dining event hosted by The Stop Community Food Centre, with beer provided by Great Lakes Brewery.  The fundraiser took place at the Wychwood Barns and the setting was one of the most unique I have ever experienced. There were 50 of us seated at a long table running down the center of its 3,000 square foot, state-of-the-art greenhouse. Surrounded by the vibrant sight and earthy smell of growing plants, it was like eating in the Garden of Eden!

The delectable vegetarian dinner was conceived and prepared by Chef Chris Brown, formerly of the highly acclaimed restaurant Perigee. The menu featured a Rosemary, Potato & Buffalo Mozzarella flat crust pizza topped with fresh herbs from the greenhouse, among other dishes. My favourite was the Roasted Hubbard Squash with toasted almonds, topped with green curry sauce on a bed of lentils. Chef Brown really knows how to bring out the nuttiness of a lentil.
And of course, the beer was fantastic!

The Stop’s mission is to increase access to healthy food in a way that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. At the Wychwood location, their Green Barn is a sustainable food production and education centre which houses the greenhouse, food systems education programs, a Global Roots Garden, a community bake oven and compost demonstration centre. Partial proceeds from the sale of the tickets went to The Stop Community Food Centre.

Originating in Vancouver, with similar organizations in NY and other major cities in the United States, The Social Feed is at the helm of the “in real life” movement in food culture dedicated to bringing people together to share a meal and connect in person. Though facilitated by social media, the message is not the medium but through the medium. And what a delicious medium it was!

All meals are fixed-priced and served family style from large platters offering a variety new dishes created by a renowned chef for a great deal. It’s suggested that if you come with a partner, you sit beside them so that you are both open to spontaneous conversation with a stranger. The communal table encourages socialization, as you have to talk to the person across from you when you ask them to pass the pizza!

Doubling as an interactive city guide, The Social Feed also suggests new places to eat along the way. So not only do you get to meet new people but you also get to experience a new restaurant your city.

The Stop Community Food Centre was something that I have wanted to check out for a while so I was stoked when The Social Feed held this amazing event right in my hood! 

I am so appreciative  to Danielle Goldfinger from The Stop Community Food Center  and Reggie Milligan from The Social Feed for facilitating  this opportunity!

Enjoy the pics!

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