Our Mission

How We are Giving Back to Our Blue Ridge Community

Farmer Levi and Chef Erik talking at West Oaks Farm MarketTaste of Blue Ridge is a community of chefs, farmers and food artisans, and locales who love where they live.

Our community believes that economic circumstances should not limit a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Therefore, we are working with agencies and our local food industry to address food insecurity issues within the community. We are also looking at ways to address staffing issues and improve the quality of our employee base.

ROOT TO TABLE COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM accepted by Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Our goal is to offer funding to non-profits addressing food challenges within the community. A special emphasis of the grant program is to educate young people to be involved in their community. This includes youth leadership programs such as the Future Farmers of America as well as The New Ag School in Loudoun County. 

The October Great Chef’s Table will be our first major fundraiser for this project. 

Our Root to Table Culinary Series events provide fantastic opportunities to raise funds for these endeavors. We also have the support of our “Friends of our Food Insecurity and Education” Platform.

 Taste of Blue Ridge’s philanthropic projects/activities/initiative

Virginia Foundation Future Farmers of America

Taste of Blue Ridge supports the youth leadership program in local public schools. In 2024, Taste will offer a grant program for local chapters to apply to based on their initiatives centered on food insecurity such as establishments of local community gardens.

The FFA is an excellent leadership program for young people, similar to the Eagle Scout program with the Boy Scouts of America. Our goal is to encourage them to look at the agricultural and culinary industry for careers.

Blue Ridge Community & Technical College’s Academy of Hospitality and Culinary Arts

Our second goal is to improve the quality of our restaurant staff and offer easy incentives for current employees to further their education in the culinary industry. To do this, Taste of Blue Ridge is connecting our chefs and executive managers to the program provided by BRCTC.

The BRCTC program includes a full scholarship for students in the quad-state area and an internship program where their students can have entry-level jobs in our restaurants.

Our chefs also offer their time to speak and provide guidance to the students looking for culinary careers.

C-Capp’s “Freedge” Winter Soup Project

C-Capp has identified four food desert areas in Winchester with a severe need for food. With limited transportation and no close grocery stores, food insecurity is a reality for these neighborhoods.

In 2023, Taste Winter Soup Program provided 800 1/2 gallons of soup from 8 regional chefs to assist in filling the refrigerator up with healthy, nutritious food alternatives. The 2024 goal will be to expand the program to other food banks to deliver 2400 soups around the region.

A Farm Less Ordinary – Bluemont, Virginia

Through our Blue Ridge Sprout Festival, this project received a check for $500 to help them restock for their 2022 growing season. They are a on-profit farm whose mission i to provide a welcoming community and employment top people with intellectual and development disabilities and provide them with their first paychecks.

Chef Marcus Repp talking with a guest at 2021 Root to Table event

Chef Kashief cooking with an aspiring child chef

Chef Erik talking to a Root to Table guest

To learn more about Giving Back Opportunities, complete the form below!