Farm, Fork & Cork 2019
For the past few years, I have been fortunate and blessed to be a part of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s largest fundraising gala in Nashville. Farm, Cork & Cork is a combo live online and in person auction fundraiser with a plated multi-course meal from top Nashville chefs.
This year was particularly special because the event raised over $420,000. What an incredible number! The community of Nashville is so generous and supportive of this cause. It makes it so worthwhile to be a part of.
With the annual event in its 5th year, the board decided to move the location to a new venue. This year our event was held at the wonderful City Winery. The venue was great and everything turned out wonderful.
Although not in attendance this year, but always a generous participant, Deb Paquette helped coordinate all the great chefs for the event. She is always amazing and willing to help out for our event.
The night kicked off with check in, an offering of wine/beer/or signature cocktail from the bar, and some incredible hors d’oeuvres from Chef Travis Sparks of Tansuo. There were gol guppa shots with mint-cilantro water and black garbanzo and potato tofu with sesame salad bites with fried wontons.
As the happy hour wound down and everyone started to take their seats, they were greeted with a stunning salad course from Chef Hrant Arekalian from Lyra. We dined on carrot kibbeh with jalapeno & cashew date dressing, radishes, pea tendrils and kaak spice on romaine.
For the third course, Chef Bryan Weaver from Butcher & Bee led off with the first entree course. He served a beautiful plated pickled shrimp dish with buttermilk gochujang and rice cracker with fennel. Loved this and it hit all the flavors and textures that you would want but was still light enough you weren’t worried about 3 more dishes.
You can never go wrong with anything from Chef Tandy Wilson of City House. Although always one willing to contribute, I hadn’t had a chance to experience his cooking at this event. In a prior year his Pastry Chef Rebekah Turshen donated her time and talents. Check out my blog from that year here and my blog from last year's here. This year Chef served a mouthwatering dish of meatballs with ragu, arugula, bread crumbs topped with parmesan that was spot on.
One of the major highlights of the gala was a very large donation from Chef Danny Maggipinto from Caffe Nonna. He bottles up pasta sauce and sells it from his restaurant with proceeds going to charity. What an amazing human being! Not only that, but he also cooked up some great food for us. The final entree course was braised duck with asiago polenta in a spicy cacciatore sauce served with pickled spring vegetables on the side.
Never one to be outdone, the dessert course stole the show. An ambitious dish was pulled off flawlessly from Chef David Andrews from D’Andrews Bakery. If you haven’t been downtown to try his creations, you need to. It is one of the best under the radar places in town. Beautifully plated with flavor to back it up, dessert was an almond pavlova with a white chocolate mousse served with roasted strawberries and rhubarb. Simply perfection.
This event is incredible and does so much good for the kids and parents of St. Jude. Each year this continues to get better and better. It's an honor to volunteer my time and talents to such an amazing event and organization. I'm already looking forward to next year!