Chefs and Farmers Host a Culinary Journey at
Root to Table’s Fall Finale

September 22nd, 2020

Lawn Seating at Celebrations Farm for Pickled & RoastedCelebrate the fall harvest alfresco style! Enjoy a Root to Table “agri-cultural” culinary experience Sunday, Oct. 11, at Celebrations Farm in Bluemont, Virginia. Six well regarded regional chefs will pair up with Blue Ridge farmers for a locally sourced menu that’s big on two great autumn food trends. Learn more about these chefs and farmers, along with what’s on the menu and how Celebrations Farm is preparing for a unique and safe dining experience.

Root to Table Alfresco Dining at Celebrations Farm

Located on 50 acres with beautiful Blue Ridge views, Celebrations Farm plays host to this distinctive, Root to Table dining experience, beginning at 3pm. Guests will find plenty of open space on the grounds of historic Whitehall Manor. Diners can reserve a tailgate space accommodating up to six – with table waiting. Or parties of six can take a farm table. There are also tables to accommodate four guests and romance tables for two.

One thing that makes a Root to Table event truly special is the interaction between passionate chefs and “foodies”. That tradition continues with both Top Chefs, as well as three Ambassador Chefs, donning their masks and practicing physical distancing to safely visit with guests.

Salute to the Fall Harvest and Local Farmers

Chef Marcus Repp GardeningRoot to Table is more than a “farm to fork” dinner. It’s a place where the locally sourced food movement is celebrated. And the center of that celebration is the family farmer. This October outdoor dining experience features four farms, three orchards, two cheese producers, a Shenandoah Valley beef producer, and a seafood wholesaler from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Each of the chefs is paired with at least one farmer. Courses are designed around pickling and roasting, two popular food trends. Like the chefs, the farmers will be on hand to meet guests and answer questions. And there will be two food demonstrations. Farmer/bar-b-que master Jared Burner of Burner’s Beef will be on hand giving pointers while Linda Lay of David Lay Farms will show how to make pickled relish known as “chow-chow”. Linda is also part of acclaimed bluegrass band Springfield Exit, along with her husband David. They’ll round out the Root to Table experience with some terrific mountain music.

Pickled and Roasted – a Fall Vegetable Celebration

Farm truck parked in a field at Lydia's Fields FarmNever before have so many local farmers come together to collaborate with Root to Table Top Chefs. “Most culinary or chef dinners are thrown together. They’re just impromptu,” says Chef Patrick Evans of Winchester’s Dine One-One. “This is something that is really thought out.”

Guests will start their Root to Table Pickled & Roasted dining experience with a pumpkin shooter topped with whipped goat cheese by Chef Jeremiah Brooks of Hamilton’s Tavern 1840 in Harpers Ferry, WV and Chef Patrick. Both were featured chefs at Root to Table’s July Celebration of Freedom in the Blue Ridge. Following the shooter, the chefs are teaming up for a medley of pickled vegetables from Lydia’s Fields at Wheatland and Young Harvests Farms. “I think Root to Table is an amazing opportunity to see some of the talents of the chefs and local farmers,” says Chef Jeremiah.

Guests will then enjoy three entrees, including one that’s sure to please vegetarian foodies. Chef Jeremy Thrasher of West End Wine Bar and Pub in Purcellville is creating an early fall vegetable medley with produce from Lydia’s as well as David Lay Farms. And diners are in for a special treat. Chef Jeremy is making a goat cheese paw paw panna cotta with the main ingredient coming from the trees of  Mackintosh Fruit Farm.

This is Chef Jeremy’s second Root to Table event and his first as a Top Chef.  “The vegetarian (dish) was a little out of my wheelhouse,” says the Chef. “But I got excited by the challenge and letting the produce drive what I am putting on the plate.”

More Chefs Takes on Pickled and Roasted

Root to Table veteran Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin will be bringing the seafood with Virginia scallops from War Shore Oyster Company. By working with a small group of Chesapeake growers, War Shore provides fresh farm raised oysters, clams and scallops within 24 hours to restaurants. Using products from David Lay Farm and Lydia’s Fields, Chef Erik will be serving a scallop gratin with crispy pickled green tomato, heirloom tomato jam, pepper pot aioli, pistachio gratin, and peppered lardo.

“My dish is inspired by my relationships,” says Chef Erik. “I look at every menu I write to see how to weave them in.” Formerly the popular kitchen master of Purcellville’s Magnolias at the Mill, Chef Erik has just opened a new locally sourced catering company, The Polished Foxx. As one of Root to Table’s first top chefs, Foxx-Nettin has seen the culinary series grow in popularity.  “I’ve had a front row seat and it’s great to see it bear fruit. This alfresco event promises to be awesome.”

And if there’s roasting, there has to be beef. Guest Chef Jose Marty of Celebrations Farm is pairing up with Burner’s Beef for a braised meat course served with a twist.  This is natural, grain fed, dry aged beef raised without antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. This star dish also features ginger roasted heirloom carrots, celeriac puree and a pomegranate demi glace.


While pomegranates aren’t native to Virginia, they are a part of Chef Jose’s Puerto Rican culinary heritage. “I grew up eating pomegranates. My grandparents had a tree. This dish showcases both the fruit and the beef.” Not only does Root to Table showcase the locally sourced food movement, it honors the culinary heritages of its chefs.

Dessert Delights from a Celebrity Chef

Chef Jason Reaves working dough

To top off the evening, guests will enjoy dessert delights from Food Network competitor, Salamander Resort Executive Pastry Chef and first time Root to Table Guest Chef Jason Reaves. He’ll be providing three scrumptious desserts using three different products from West Oaks Farm Market and Twin Ridge Orchards. Both West Oaks and Twin Ridge have farming histories spanning multiple generations. Savor an apple and honey cheesecake tart then a maple roasted squash Blondie. And be sure to save room for the bourbon peach cream puff. “I’m really excited to have everyone come join us,” says Chef Jason. “We’re going to be outside and it’s going to be beautiful.”

Root to Table and the Locally Sourced Food Movement

Taste of Blue Ridge and Root to Table are designed to bring together those who are passionate about and support locally sourced food. “It’s a family of chefs and farmers,” says Chef Jose, “who are mostly food educators. They educate about food awareness and wholesome eating.” Root to Table, says Chef Jose, “Is a great network of chefs focusing on local produce, artisans, and farmers. It really is a community event and there is a family feeling, working with the local farmers.”

Chef Jeremy seconds that sense of community. “Guests can talk to the farmers about the food that’s actually going on your plate,” says Chef. “It’s a wonderful, fun celebration of all things local.”

Tickets for Root to Table’s “Pickled & Roasted” are almost gone! Click here to purchase yours today.