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Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner Celebrates Local Food to Support a Good Cause

by on August 14, 2019 6:00 AM

An upcoming event gives Centre County residents the opportunity to feast on locally-grown fare while supporting a good cause. The seventh annual Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner takes place 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Mount Nittany Vineyard.

“This dinner celebrates the bounty of the harvest from the local small farmers who grow our food in the agricultural paradise that we enjoy in central Pennsylvania and the wonderful local chefs who incorporate local food in their menus,” says Jim Eisenstein, one of the event’s long-term organizers.

Each year, the event supports a community cause. According to Eisenstein, the dinner was originally sponsored by the Boalsburg Farmers Market and proceeds supported the market’s outreach activities, such as cooking demonstrations and children’s events, as well as local elementary school gardening initiatives. In 2017, proceeds benefited the Friends & Farmers Co-Op. Last year, proceeds benefited Taproot Kitchen and, this year, Taproot Kitchen shares the spotlight with Cooking Baking Centre County (CBCC). 

Both Taproot Kitchen and CBCC focus on providing adults with intellectual disabilities work and educational opportunities through agriculture and cooking. CBCC, which teaches culinary skills including baking and safe food handling with the help of local chefs and food safety experts, was founded by Tony Sapia, who also founded the Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner.

Beyond the evolving beneficiaries, Eisenstein says the dinner “has remained pretty much the same, with the cost being held down to an affordable amount so the community at large can come.” This year, however, the event is expanding its space to accommodate a larger number of guests, up to 200; last year, the event drew approximately 130 guests. Otherwise, says Eisenstein, “guests have been delighted with the dinner in the past. We are now at the ‘it isn’t broke, so don’t fix it’ stage.”

The evening begins with a vineyard and winery tour lead by Mount Nittany Vineyard’s award-winning winemaker Scott Hillicker. Dinner and live music by Papa and Richard begins at 6 p.m. Rather than a sit-down affair, the dinner consists of food stations manned by an array of Centre County’s best chefs, all serving up delicacies created with the local agricultural bounty in mind.  

Local restaurants and producers represented include Gemelli Bakers, Revival Kitchen, The Cheese Shop, Harrison’s, Fasta & Ravioli Co., Nomad Kitchen, Rising Spring Meats, the Harvest Shop at Tait Farm, Elk Creek Cafe, Gigi’s, Taproot Kitchen, CBCC, The Pizza Oven and W.C. Clarke Roasters. 

The menu boasts a variety of cuisines, including some vegetarian and gluten-free options. 

Dress for the event is informal and parking is free. Tickets are $45 for adults and children under 12 may attend for free. Tickets include one complimentary glass of wine for those ages 21 and up. Tickets are available for purchase at Gemelli Bakers or Jade Family Farm stands at the Tuesday Boalsburg Farmers Market and the Saturday North Atherton Farmers Market, the Tait Farm Harvest Shop, Webster’s Bookstore & Café, the Fasta Pasta Shop, Taproot Kitchen, 10 Thousand Villages Store and online.

“It is a general community event with guests of all ages,” says Eisenstein. “Anyone who wants to celebrate the work of our local farmers and chefs, and who loves good food and appreciates what the harvest brings, will enjoy the dinner, the setting, the music and the company.”


Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at holly.[email protected]
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