Get Ready for Blue Ridge Sprouts!

Front of West Oaks Farm Market with Blue Ridge Sprouts logosMark your calendar “foodies” and get ready to Sprout on Saturday, November 6, 11:30am – 5pm, at West Oaks Farm Market in Winchester, VA. Whether you’re into locally sourced food prepared by great chefs, want to learn more about the “real food” movement, or have an interest in gardening, sustainability, or the environment, you’ll find it at Blue Ridge Sprouts.

Blue Ridge Sprouts – “Nourish, Savor, Learn”

Blue Ridge Sprouts brings together top culinary talent,  including a former White House Chef, a Bocuse d’Or Champion, a Food TV Winner, and popular Taste of Blue Ridge Chefs. Farmers, food artisans, master gardeners, and environmental experts are also on hand to complete the motto of “Nourish, Savor, Learn.”

Throughout the day, there are contests, workshops, demonstrations, and interactive exhibits designed to engage and educate. And, of course, there’s delicious, locally sourced food. The festival is geared to adults and families with kids ages 8-15. Proceeds from Blue Ridge Sprouts will go to three area nonprofits with ties to the agricultural community.

An All Star Culinary Lineup for Blue Ridge Sprouts

Chef Kashief in the kitchenWhether it’s learning about the connection between the culinary world and sustainability, “sharpening” your knifing skills, or enjoying tasty dishes, “foodies” are guaranteed a full day at Blue Ridge Sprouts.

Meet a Culinary Gold Medalist – Rich Rosendale: Renowned Master Chef and culinary entrepreneur Rich Rosendale headlines the day’s events. As Captain of the Culinary Team, Chef Rich led the United States to a gold medal at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or, an international competition and celebration of chefs.  He’s competed in over 50 culinary events and appeared on the Emmy-nominated Recipe Rehab. His endeavors include the popular Roots 657 restaurant in Leesburg and a cutting edge culinary lab. Hear Rosendale’s insights on sustainability and the culinary world.

“Sprout to Finish” Cooking Competition: Watch Kashif Brown of Ridgewells Catering (a former White House Chef), Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chef Jan Van Haute of Hillbrook Inn & Spa, and Santosh Tiptur of The Conche (a Food TV Winner) team up with three young kitchen wizards to see who has the best vegetarian dish. (Sponsored by Hillbrook Inn & Spa).

Up Your Game in the Kitchen: Sign up for a knifing demonstration from Executive Chef Marcus Repp of Noble House Resorts and learn how to use the most important tool in the kitchen. Want to learn about the best cuts of beef and pork for different dishes? Then spend some time with farmer and Bar-B-Q competitor Jared Burner of Burner’s Beef.

Discover how to create signature cocktails with savory, sweet, herbaceous and floral flavors with mixologist Ashley Pryor of Lilah Restaurant. And put a “wow” factor into your dinner with advice from Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chefs.

Locally Sourced Goodness from Regional Chefs

Grab a bite of “real food” from two popular regional chefs at Blue Ridge Sprouts. Erik Foxx-Nettnin of The Polished Foxx and Jose Marty of LoCo Kitchen are on hand serving up Blue Ridge bounty. And wash it down with wine, beer, or cider from the West Oaks Farm Market Tasting Garden.

More Than Just a Food Festival

Blue Ridge Sprouts is not just a food festival – it’s an opportunity to learn more about other important ties to the locally sourced food movement. Farmers, food artisans, master gardeners, and environmental specialists will demonstrate and answer all your questions.

Gardening Workshops: Do you love microgreens? Then join the folks from A Farm Less Ordinary and learn how to make – and take home – a microgreens garden.  Discover how to turn your backyard into an edible landscape with Sari Carp of Sustainability Matters. And learn about gardening in small spaces with Master Gardener Paula Brownlee.  And if you’re into playing in the dirt, be sure to check out the composting exhibit and “worm zoo” from Sustainability Matters and the environmental classroom from the Headwater Soil & Conservation District.

Farmers and Food Artisans: The Shenandoah Valley is known for apples. Bill Mackintosh of Mackintosh Fruit Farm will be on hand with a grafting demonstration and an apple cider press. Watch Mike & Mose, a pair of heritage breed Randall Lineback oxen from Green Gable Farms, in action. And learn all about beekeeping and the important role these pollinators play in the environment and food chain.

Great Advice on Great Health: Good nutrition and exercise are the cornerstones for great health. Meet Scott Dolly, sports medicine pioneer, at Blue Ridge Sprouts. Known as the “Morpheus of movement,” Dolly specializes in biomechanics and also educates clients on the vital role  quality food plays in good health. For over a decade, he has been the go-to guy other medical professionals refer patients to when traditional approaches have failed.

For the Whole Family

Grocery store employee taking a picture with a customerSometimes it’s hard to find family outings that engage your ‘tweens and teens. Blue Ridge Sprouts has a full lineup for 8-15 year olds and even activities for the younger set.

Go On a Nutritional Scavenger Hunt: “Fast food” gets a bad rap – and most of the time it’s well deserved. But Chick-Fil-A has revamped its menu with an emphasis on good nutrition. The Pleasant Valley and Rutherford Crossing locations are sponsoring a nutritional scavenger hunt that will take you all around beautiful West Oaks Farm.

“Root to Table” Career Discovery Match Game: Can you match the job title to the description? Here’s where ‘tweens and teens can explore careers in culinary and agriculture – and win prizes! Presented by F&M Bank.

For Little Guys & Gals: Handley Regional Library will be on hand with story times throughout the day – and signing up locals for library cards. Make a “fairy garden” terrarium with the folks from Massanutten Resort. The WOFM corn maze is open, and everyone’s invited to take a tour of the farm with a hayride. And munchkins love the tractor moonbounce and combine slide.

Community Support through Blue Ridge Sprouts

Hay Field with nonprofits logosProceeds from Blue Ridge Sprouts will go to three nonprofits with ties to agriculture and sustainability. Here are the organizations and how the donations will be used.

VA Future Farmers of America (grants and scholarships): The name says it all – this organization is the future of farming. You probably won’t meet a modern day farmer who wasn’t a part of FFA in high school.

Sustainability Matters (staffing support): This grassroots nonprofit out of Harrisonburg, VA is all about conservation and the environment.

A Farm Less Ordinary (farm equipment): Located in western Loudoun County, AFLO provides training and employment for adults with developmental disabilities.

Blue Ridge Sprouts would not be possible without the support of good corporate citizens. Two of the festival’s top sponsors are F&M Bank and Farmer Focus. 

Established in 1908, F&M Bank has deep ties in the Shenandoah Valley and consistently steps up to the plate with philanthropic support. Learn more about F&M Bank’s commitment to farmers, small businesses, and the communities they serve.

At the other end of the timeline is Farmer Focus, established in 2014. Farmer Focus is a group of family farmers who raise chickens organically and humanely, providing a top quality poultry protein available through select grocery stores and online ordering.

Blue Ridge Sprouts is also partnering with the Battlefield Half Marathon & Relays held the morning of the festival. This marathon is for both experienced runners and those who just want to have some fun. Sign up your family and friends as a 2 or 4-person relay team for the 5K or 10K races and enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

Get Your Tickets for Blue Ridge Sprouts

Whether you’re a family of “foodies,” love to dig in the dirt, or just want to learn more about the importance of good nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and a more sustainable environment, there’s something for everyone at Blue Ridge Sprouts. Admission is a $20 donation for adults and kids up to 15 are FREE.  Pre-registration is required, so get your tickets through EventBrite and get ready to Sprout!

More Great Blogs About Our Talented Chefs and Their Favorite Farmers