Back in May, I wrote a column about the Southwest Virginia chapter of the American Culinary Federation. After years of being fairly stagnant, the chapter is under new leadership and is determined to raise awareness about the group and its causes through community events. The president of the group is James Zeisler Sr., director of the Culinary Institute at Virginia Western.
On Friday, Sept. 28, the chapter held the first of what members hope will be many adventure dinners to raise money for their chapter. It was sort of a test dinner to see how it went so there were only 30 seats available at $50 each. They did not need to advertise the tickets for sale because they sold out through word-of-mouth very quickly. But they want to do more of these in the future because they will help to fund ACF programs such as the Chef & Child initiative, which teaches children and their parents about proper nutrition..
It was called an “adventure dinner” because guests had no idea where the dinner would take place until that evening. They were told to meet in the parking lot of Lowe’s on U.S. 460 and were then given clues to follow until they reached the destination, Layman Family Farms near Montvale. The Layman family was kind enough to let the club host the dinner in their corn maze!
The event featured a hay ride, live music, appetizers, a champagne cocktail and four courses. Members of the ACF dressed as farmers in order to serve guests, and the chefs who prepared the meal included Nazim Khan (Virginia Tech), John Schopp (Center Stage Catering), Ted Polfelt (419 West), and Tanner LaPrade (Kroger). Check out the slideshow below to see photos from the event.
Coming up, this local ACF chapter will put on a chocolate festival at Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center on March 10. For more information about that and other local ACF events, keep an eye on their Facebook page or their website.
“We want people to know the ACF exists and these are the kinds of things we do,” Zeisler said.
TO MAKE THE SLIDE SHOW LARGER AND SEE THE CAPTIONS, CLICK THE ICON IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER, THEN CLICK “SHOW INFO.”