Last year, we got to know Andy and Rashmi Grace. Andy, a film professor at the University of Alabama, and Rashmi, a geologist, are the founders of the Druid City Garden Project, a Tuscaloosa-based non-profit that works to make healthy, local food available to all.
When we met them last May, they were rebuilding the after the destruction of the April 27 tornadoes, which caused significant damage to the community garden they run. They were also working to cook fresh, healthy meals for those impacted by the storms. Along with their friends–mostly other UA professors and students–they worked with local farmers to secure donated produce, which they turned into large, healthy meals, delivered to shelters and volunteers. (See: "What Stands In A Storm.")
Nearly a year later, the garden at University Place Elementary School is back in action, and Andy and Rashmi are continuing their broader mission to make fresh grown food accessible to their community.
On Sunday, March 25, the Fourth Annual Swine and Wine Twilight Supper will benefit the Druid City Garden Project. The Birmingham event is coordinated by Maureen and Cliff Holt of Birmingham’s Little Savannah Restaurant, and will feature 14 chefs and their food, with an emphasis on local, Southern food and wine. (Though the menu is still being finalized, we have it on good authority that a pig roast will be involved.)
“The event is imperative not only because it raises awareness and money for the programs that are teaching children and adults alike about eating healthy, but also emphasizes the understanding of where our food comes from,” says Maureen Holt.
The family-friendly event starts at 5 p.m. at Old Car Heaven, 115 35th Street South. Chefs include C, Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans; Jay Caputo of Espuma and Porcini House Restaurant in Rehobath Beach, Delaware; Rick Gresh of David Burke’s Prime House in Chicago; Cliff Holt; Jeffery Hansel of Veranda on Highland; Jonathon “Rusty” Tucker of Rusty’s Barbeque; Haller MaGee of Satterfields; Ryan Hagemann of Whole Foods; Chris and Leah Harrigan of Stone’s Throw; Rob McDaniel of Spring House; Chad Schofield and Mac Russell of Shindigs Catering and Food Truck; Chris Vizzina of Campus Dining, Inc.; Chris and Anna Newsome of Ollie Irene; Daniel Briggs of Daniel George; and Steve La May and Bill St. John.
Bluegrass music will be provided by Chattanooga’s Lou Wamp & Swing Shift. A children’s area will include a creative drawing contest, pig face painting, and seedling planting activities with Druid City Garden Project.
Tickets are available online here. They are $45 if you order online, $20 for 13-20 year olds, 12 and under free.
We'll be there, and hope to see you too. And, while you're at it, check out Andy and Rashmi's documentary, "Eating Alabama," about their mission to eat local for a year. It premiered last week at the South by Southwest Film Festival to great reviews.