Salute to Women – Ambassadors & Exhibitors

Spring Event – Sunday, March 10th 2023
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville – Charlottesville, VA

Join us for an Exclusive Culinary Experience Celebrating Women’s History Month!

Meet the Root to Table Ambassadors for our Spring Event!

Rachel Pennington

Rachel Pennington owns and operates The Pie Chest in Charlottesville, VA, which opened on March 14, 2015 at 9:26am (3.1415926). The shop quickly became about more than just pie – it evolved into a very real safe space and sanctuary for the city of Charlottesville, harboring hundreds of souls seeking respite, given through kindness, delicious food, and comfort.

Rachel is a writer who focuses on food, memory, Ecclesiastes, and adoption. She is currently attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is pursuing a Doctorate in Creative Writing and Public Theology. Her manuscript-in-progress is a cookbook/memoir hybrid. She is heavily inspired by her three grandmothers – adoptive, “pretend,” and birth.

Chef Rachel Pennington

Chef Pete Smith of Market Salamander

Pete Smith – Chef Advisory Board Member

Chef Pete is a newcomer to the Blue Ridge culinary scene, but has been an eager member of the Root to Table movement who has made incredible contributions in his short time with us.

Chef Pete is working independently expanding his private chef services through The Chef Feature Co. as well as handpicking culinary events for him to orchestrate including his cooking class and private farm and whisky tours with Ovoka Farms, a Wagyu Beef farm in Upperville, Virginia. He also works as a culinary consultant for the restaurant hospitality industry and recently became the Executive Chef at the Piedmont Club in Haymarket, VA.

Pete has been instrumental in the success of our Winter Soup Program and has served faithfully as a member of our first Chef Advisory Board, where he helped coordinate the first-ever Salute to Women event and the Taste of Excellence series in July.

Marcus Repp – Chef Advisory Board Member

Marcus Repp has been a faithful partner of Taste of Blue Ridge since 2018, back when our mission was just beginning. Marcus has shifted roles since our partnership began, but his commitment to this community and to the industry has remained unwavering, and for that we honor his contributions in 2023.

Marcus is extremely well-traveled, taking the gospel of Blue Ridge cooking with him all around the country and beyond. As a member of the Chef Advisory Board, Chef Marcus has helped us expand our reach exponentially, brightening the future of what Taste of Blue Ridge can be for 2024 and beyond. If you see new additions to our ranks in the coming months and years, it’s likely thanks to the efforts of Chef Marcus!

Chef Marcus Repp speaking with other chefs at a Root to Table dinner


Eastwood Farm and Winery – Charlottesville, VA

In the heart of Virginia’s Wine Country and only five miles from Downtown Charlottesville, enjoy award-winning wines in a beautiful setting along with a delicious lunch and dinner menu. Eastwood also regularly hosts live music and events.

Virginia Governor’s CUP GOLD MEDALISTS
Enjoy our award-winning Virginia wines along with our beers and ciders in our tasting room, seven days a week. We ship throughout the United States and our wines can be found in retail shops in Virginia.

What they’re selling – Wine!


Eastwood Wine Bottles

Dane and Francesca from Blue Ridge Pickling

Blue Ridge Pickling – Aldie, VA

Owners Dane and Francesca we moved to Virginia in 2019, settling in Aldie, VA at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Southern California.

A search for natural remedies began an experiment with fermented and brine based foods. They duo dialed in some recipes, which they began to give friends and family their homemade pickle products as gifts for various occasions. They received fantastic feedback and decided to see if they could make this “small batch” pickle dream a reality. They partner with local farms and spice companies in the Northern Virginia area as they work to perfect their pickles!

What they’re selling – Various styles of Pickles! They also have a delicious Brine Based Bloody Mary Mix.

Honeysuckle Creek Farm – Charlottesville, VA

At Honeysuckle Creek Farm, we don’t just grow fresh produce, herbs, and microgreens. We also craft a number of value added products using the items that we grow. From delicious herbal teas and seasonings to soaking salts and soaps, each item is created using the finest ingredients. 

We take great pride in producing high-quality, all-natural products that are great for personal use and for gift giving alike.

What they’re selling – Herbal Teas, Seasoning Blends, Craft cCcktail Kits, Gourmet Sugar Cubes, Soaking Salts, and Candles.

Erica of Honeysuckle Creek Farm

Assorted Cookies from Cowbell Kitchen

Cowbell Kitchen – Leesburg, VA

Cowbell Kitchen is a farm & local producer-driven food business. We have built strong relationships with like-minded farmers, producers and small businesses. The cast of characters is endless, but the story is the same: we are all here to live our passion and bring to everyone the beauty of locally grown, raised and produced food.

What they’re selling – Cookies! Chocloate Chip, Oreo, Oatmeal Cream, Vegan Peanut Butter, plus something cute that represents the event!

Southwest Mountain Vineyards – Keswick, VA

Southwest Mountains has a unique octave in the dynamic Old World style wines grown on our three estates. Virginia’s wine conversation is progressing from “despite the climate” to “because of our unique climate” we are able to make incredible wine.

At SMV we embrace the region’s challenges and hope you will savor this in every glass. We couldn’t do this work without our renowned team, our SMV family. Together we work to honor the land and history of the Southwest Mountains.

What they’re selling – Wine!


Wines from Southwest Mountain Vineyards

Women holding Flowers from Harmony Harvest Farm

Harmony Harvest Farm – Weyers Cave, VA

Harmony Harvest Farm is a 20-acre cut flower farm located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia that ships mixed bouquets and bulk flowers nationwide and offers a local agritourism experience. To us however, the farm is so much more than that. It’s a way to build connections between people, strengthen our community, and rediscover the wonder of Mother Nature. Harmony Harvest Farm’s story is woven with the idea that all people can find joy together – and this story is punctuated by flowers.

What they’re selling – Flowers and Flower Frogs!

Edgewood Apiaries & Farm – Fork Union, VA

It all begins with natural bee products; beeswax and honey. From there we add raw, virgin oils and butters with high quality essential oils and natural colorants. All of our products are handcrafted on the farm in small batches providing you with the most natural homemade experience possible. No refined or synthetic ingredients you can’t pronounce, ever!

What they’re selling – Honey, Soaps, Lotions, and more!


Honey from Edgewood Apiaries

Spatulas from Dryad Cookery

Dryad Cookery – Shenandoah Valley, VA

Dryad Cookery is a brand born out of a love for the timeless, tactile experience of cooking. Emerging from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in 2020, Dryad Cookery was brought to life through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The brand is a testament to the enduring spirit of entrepreneurship, the engaged mentorship from Virginia’s SBDC and support of the Shenandoah Community Capital Fund, an organization dedicated to helping dreamers turn their visions into reality.

At Dryad Cookery, we believe in the magic of the tangible and the enduring. In a digital age where recipes are merely a click away, we champion the irreplaceable value of family and community cooking and the wisdom it preserves. We invite our customers to embark on culinary journeys that go beyond simple recipe searches, exploring new flavors and techniques with an adventurous spirit.

What they’re selling – Spatulas, Cast Iron Scrubbers, and Hand Made Leather Skillet Handle Covers!