The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach has sold out Farm to Table event to generate good funds.
The inaugural “Farm to Table…A Cultural Experience” event at The Cultural Center was a significant success for the local non-profit organization. From April 30 until May 5, The Cultural Center showcased healthy eating and food preparation with cooking classes, lectures and demonstrations. The weeklong event showcased local growers and chefs. The event attracted hundreds of attendees and raised more than $31,000 net for the non-profit organization, its programs and services.
According to Judy Hixenbaugh, Director of Development for The Cultural Center, the arts and cultural organization listened to what the local community was demanding and the non-profit, its staff and volunteers delivered a first-class event.
Specifically, cooking classes and workshops were offered each day with popular topics from creating pasta from scratch to growing and preparing organic vegetables and herbs to featuring the benefits of eating and cooking with natural foods. The popularity of the classes included sold out events with local Chef Andrea Rosenblatt, owner of A. Chef Cooking Studio. “Feedback was so positive that everyone was asking when we’re doing it again,” said Chef Rosenblatt.
On May 3, The Cultural Center presented a “Farm to Table” dinner at Nocatee’s Crosswater Hall. The dinner included appetizers, a happy hour and nine food stations plus fresh cuisine prepared with locally grown seasonal ingredients that paired local and celebrity chefs with six farmers. Restaurants included Crave All Natural Food, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Ragtime Tavern, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Augustine Room, The Floridian, Villagio Italian Grille and Peterbrooke Chocolatier. The dinner featured more than 200 supporters who sat at long picnic-type tables decorated by local designer Barbara Sandler and a committee that decorated with elegant branches, green plants and candles, white dishes, and mason jars for water.
Event co-chairs Janet Westling, Toni Crawford and Kim Kendall introduced sponsors and guest speakers including Jeb Smith, a fifth generation farmer from Hastings, and Gary Mormino, author of Florida Foodways: From New Spain to Old South to the Sunbelt.
On May 5, hundreds of residents and visitors from throughout St. Johns County and beyond experienced the all-natural and organic merchandise from more than 18 farms and vendors who were set up at The Cultural Center. Since the event, Hixenbaugh has received numerous calls and interest about a developing a traditional Farmers Market in Ponte Vedra Beach. “We are very pleased about the enthusiasm from so many locals and visitors regarding the Farm to Table event and the opportunity to start a Farmers Market at the Cultural Center,” she said. “There is certainly a demand for these types of activities. We are confirmed to bring back the Farm to Table event again next year.”
Founded in 1994 by a dedicated group of community leaders, The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach provides a place for residents and visitors in theJacksonville region to create understand and experience the arts. Located in the former Ponte Vedra Beach U.S. Post Office at 50 Executive Way, The Cultural Center building is an 8,000-square-foot community meeting place dedicated to the arts for participants and observers. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, The Cultural Center features an ongoing series of high-quality arts programs, events and art exhibitions with opening receptions that are free and open to the public. The Cultural Center is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and tours are available. Visit the website at www.ccpvb.org.