The Com Com Newsletter goes live with two Charlottesville chef / activists
Life in Covid quarantine sees us social distancing, working remotely, and spending a considerable amount of time online. At Tom Tom, we’ve noticed that although we’re doing a decent job staying connected, something significant is missing—those organic, spur-of-the-moment connections that happen when you bump into an interesting stranger on the downtown mall, or meet someone with a new idea that sparks a conversation.
To simulate that spark, we decided to take our popular Com Com newsletter live by way of virtual, interactive and totally free conversations with some of Charlottesville’s most fascinating movers, shakers, and changemakers.
For Tom Tom’s inaugural Com Com Live! event, Antwon Brinson of Culinary Concepts AB & Harrison Keevil of the #FeedVirginia Project (and Belmont’s Keevil & Keevil Kitchen & Grocery) discussed what it means to feed those in need during a crisis and what impact COVID-19 will have on food security in Central Virginia going forward.
“Chefs live in a constant state of agility… trying to make it work. This is no different.” — Antwon Brinson
Brinson reflected on how restaurant workers, along with everyone else, have been forced to become increasingly flexible during Covid-19, and he insisted he’s not worried about their ability to bounce back. Brinson was especially inspired by Harrison Keevil’s growing connections with local farms, which reminded him of his native Hawaii. “The farmers are just as passionate about food as the chefs… pouring their soul into what they’re doing,” he said. Brinson encourages families to reach out to their favorite restaurants to ask for recipe advice, especially on how to use up that five pound bag of pancake mix in your pantry!
“[The #FeedVirginia Project] has given me the chance to cook for more people than I’ve ever gotten to cook for in my entire life.” – Harrison Keevil
Keevil talked through the details of preparing and delivering hundreds of free meals per day to those who need it most via the #FeedVirginia Project, saying that Covid-19 has reinforced his sense of purpose. He has also partnered with Local Food Hub, a produce pick-up system. When asked about the future of #FeedVirginia, he said he sees it lasting long past Covid, with the goal to “always be delivering food to those who need it, using local ingredients” (which, for right now at least, means a lot of strawberries and asparagus).