Published by Our Local Commons
Tom Tom Founders Festival returns April 13–19 and it is brimming with food-related events, all centered around a theme of sustainability and incorporating local food into everyday eating.
You can get a rundown of all the events on the Tom Tom site, and here are a few highlights to be sure not to miss:
Farm to Table Restaurant Week: Running the entire April 13–19 span of the festival, local restaurants will highlight ingredients from farms, artisans, and producers in the Charlottesville region. Read more about ithere.
Luncheon: Eating Local Everyday: Held at Brookville Restaurant on Friday, April 17, this 60-minute roundtable discussion will feature a five-member panel of individuals from the local food community, including Kristen Suokko, executive director of Local Food Hub; Paul Freeman of the UVA Food Collaborative; Gabrielle Rausse director of gardens and grounds at Monticello; Chef Tucker Yoder, Founder and Owner of Eljogaha Pop Up Restaurant; Gail Hobbs-Page, owner of Caromont Farm. Brookville will cater the event with its Brookville Boxes — yum!
The luncheon is part of the Founders Summit, an all-day conference on Friday. The luncheon is ticketed, but open to the public. Ticket holders for the Founders Summit receive a discount on luncheon tickets.
Iron Chef Competition: On Saturday, April 18 at the Charlottesville City Market, six sous chefs from the Farm to Table Restaurant Week participants will compete to produce a 100% locally sourced dish. Each will have a $50 budget and 35 minutes to tour the farmer’s market to select ingredients. Then they’ll have 30 minutes to cook a dish that they will present to a panel of local food celebrities. The winner receives $250 and the title of Charlottesville’s Iron Chef. Judging begins at 11 a.m., but come sooner to catch all the action!
Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, which is the signature sponsor for all the food programming at Tom Tom this year, is providing the pantry items, such as salt, for the competition — items that cannot currently be sourced at the City Market. But the main ingredients of each dish the competitors produce — meat, vegetables, etc. — will be completely local.
Build-Your-Own Picnic Basket: The Charlottesville City Market is an invaluable resource for eating local, and to help highlight this fact, Tom Tom is partnering with market vendors in a special event in which marketgoers can stop by the Tom Tom tent at the Charlottesville City Market in the morning on Saturday, April 18, to pick up a Tom Tom tote bag containing a Build Your Own Basket menu. Using the menu as a guide, they can tour the market and curate their own 100% locally sourced Picnic Basket, including special, exclusive items and deals. Folks are then invited to head over to Lee Park, across the Downtown Mall from the market, and enjoy their basket of treats as part of Tom Tom’s Picnic Day.
Downtown Chili Showdown & Brew Ha Ha: On Saturday, April 18, head over to the Main Street Arena between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., where local breweries will be competing to be the People’s Choice Champion, while local restaurants and home cooks alike will complete to be the People’s Choice Chili Champion.
Food Trucks: Charlottesville’s local food scene includes dozens of exceptional food trucks, and many of them will be featured at various Tom Tom events, including the Friday Night Block Party on Friday, April 17 at Lee Park; Picnic Day on Saturday, April 18 at Lee Park; and the Belmont Block Party on Sunday, April 19 in downtown Belmont.