Houston 100: Tomato Tribute

James Brock
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Yes, it is going to be all about the tomato, so if you are a fan of the beloved fruit, you need to mark June 24 on your calendars. The Houston 100 has, and gave a shout-out to the Receipe for Success Foundation and Hope Farms this week, urging Houstonians to get tickets for the event without delay, because this fundraiser is going to sell out! Chefs Alyssa Dole, Wayne Nguyen, and Martin Stayer willl be in charge of the food, and they will be using tomatoes from Hope Farms. Read The Houston 100's entry here, and get ready for some great eating!

Culturemap: Ultimate Al Fresco Party

James Brock
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The media coverage of Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet continues with this piece from Culturemap Houston, which conveys all of the elegance, deliciousness, and fun that happened on May 7. The guests were treated to cocktails from Hal Brock (who also designed the floral arrangements for the evening), Rootstock Wines opened some exellent bottles, and the food. Well, the food was something special. The chefs and their teams created a 10-course tasting menu that exceeded expectations, a lineup that included ceviche, lobster bisque, duck leg, and more. The home of Lisa and Michael Holthouse was the perfect setting for the fundraiser, and we're already looking forward to 2019 and the first Monday in May, which is when Delicious Alchemy comes again. Read the Culturemap story here, and take a look at our stellar photos below.

Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet 2018

An Earth Day Weekend Success

James Brock
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GQ2B0887.JPGWe celebrated Earth Day Weekend 2018 in a big way at Hope Farms on the weekend of April 21 and 22. More than 600 attendees transformed the farm into a rollicking venue of education and fun on Saturday, and on the following day 50 guests feasted at one long table at the inaugural Chefs in the Field Supper.

To kick off the weekend, a full slate of diverse artisans and community partners -- including The Children's Museum, Magpies & Peacocks, The Garden Hen, Hive Bee, Living Well Therapies, Shana Ross Fitness, author Erin Hicks, Old Country Olive Oil, United Health Foundation, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company -- gathered at the farm and provided guests with learning opportunities, educational outreach, and artisanal foodstuffs. Darren Grigsby cooked up some fine brisket and boudin, while Local Foods grilled artichokes and other delicacies. Smart in the Kitchen, Chef Michael, Urban Chef and the Recipe for Success culinary team gave hands-on cooking classes in the Gathering Barn, and actor, Laura Bellomy read to tots and youngsters under the Lace Elm Tree. All that, and much more, made Saturday a wonderful one.

On Sunday, sapphire skies, bountiful fields, 50 guests, three chefs, Texas wines, a hot new grill, and a stellar menu--including freshly harvested produce from Hope Farms -- made the Recipe for Success Foundation's inaugural Chefs in the Field Supper at Hope Farms a success by any measure.Thumbnail image for A birdseye view of the communal table at Chefs in the Field.JPG

All members of the Foundation's Advisory Board, volunteer chefs Jean-Philippe Gaston (Izakaya), Vincent Huynh (Agricole Hospitality), and Greg Martin (Bistro Menil)-- who built the new grill themselves as a gift to the Farm -- wowed guests on Sunday night, during which the 50-foot-long table laid out in the farm's Gathering Barn was the scene of delicious fun.

Festivities began in the Chef's Kitchen Garden where Agricole Hospitality proprietor, Morgan Weber poured his signature Indianola Distillery Old Fashioneds, and Foundation Board member, Kathryne Castellanos and her volunteer brigade passed grilled polenta cakes and octopus bites along with Christian Martin Blanc de Blancs and Saint Arnold beers. After exploring the fields and meeting the chickens, guests took their seats for a five-course feast featuring wines from William Chris Vineyards. Progressing from Hope Farms veg crudité and roasted beet borscht to melt-in-your-mouth short ribs and whole grilled snappers--all served family style, the meal concluded with Dairy Maids cheeses, Bee Hive honeycomb and strawberry shortcakes. Sponsors Blue Horizon Seafood, Buckhead Meat, Hive Bee Farm donated their top-quality provisions for the evening.

Spotted at the table: tennis great Zina Garrison, Bryan Christ, Emily and Robert Clay, Dona & Al Clay, Erin Stewart O'Leary, Shamika Johnson, Genevieve and Shawn Patterson, Melanie and Daniel Ringold, Lisa and Paul Mason, Marnie Greenwood, Ana Llovera and Carlos Gonzales Centano, Sheryl and Ernie Rapp, Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Yasmine Haddad and daughter Tatiana, Honi and Glen Boudreaux, Haley and Michael Carter, Ann and Tom Bastian and Recipe for Success Founders, Gracie and Bob Cavnar. The evening raised $12,000 for Hope Farms Community Outreach programs.

Enjoy fabulous photos of the weekend here:

Chefs In the Field April 2018

Fourth Grade Field Trips

Volunteer Coordinator
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GQ2B2910.JPGAs our Seed-to-Plate classes come to an end, and we finish "Eating the Rainbow," we're rounding out the year with our 4th grade field trips.

Students from our showcase schools--Rodriguez Elementary and MacGregor Elementary--recently visited Hope Farms, and had the opportunity to participate in a full farm to table experience.

Working closely with RFS farmer Justin Meyers and guest chef Kevin Naderi, students were split into three groups, and tasked with tackling the various components of a true farm to table experience.

During the their time with farmer Meyers, our first group of students helped weed and ensure that that all the raised beds were getting enough water (this was especially important as our as our days are getting hotter and hotter), while our second group worked to harvest the healthy, delicious ingredients that comprised our farm lunch, and our third group fed the Hope Farms chickens and plants various aromatics in the children's garden.

Their farm work done, our 4th graders moved towards composing their lunch for the day. Working closely with Chef Kevin Naderi, each group of students got a chance to put their own mark on the meal. Our first group sautéed beautiful farm fresh yellow squash, with onions and garlic for a fragrant pasta salad, while our second group composed a green salad with freshly picked cucumbers, and our third helped Chef Kevin prepare a tasty vinaigrette.

As part of their experience, students also received their own aprons, which they immediately took to personalizing. Inspired by their hard (but fun!) day's work, students decorated their aprons with flowers, trees, and the various names of plants they learned about throughout the day.

When it was all said and done, all the students and their teachers and members of the RFS team took the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor with an idyllic picnic--some of us choosing to sit out beneath the shade of beautiful, leafy trees, and others choosing the table overlooking the farm's blooming sunflowers. Bon Appetit!

May Volunteer of the Month: Cheryl Sorak

Volunteer Coordinator
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Cheryl Sorak.jpgWe are pleased to announce Cheryl Sorak as our May Volunteer of the Month. A busy mom of two teenagers and employee at a natural health clinic in the Houston Heights area, Cheryl still manages to carve out time to donate her time at Hope Farms on a weekly basis. Since July 2017, she's been drawn to the farm, a space she describes as "beautiful" and "good for the soul". Cheryl enjoys volunteering because of the opportunity it provides to work with the foundation's farm team and other volunteers and the work is a great learning experience. One of her favorite memories was during this past winter when a rare dusting of snow covered the farm fields. "It was amazing to see the plants covered in snow! I C Sorak.jpgknow it was probably not the best for some of them but was a beautiful sight."

The Recipe for Success team is grateful for the amount of time Cheryl has dedicated to Hope Farms. Thank you, Cheryl!

ABC13 at Hope Farms

James Brock
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Houston's ABC affilliate, KTRK 13, visited Hope Farms last week and spoke to Gracie Cavnar, Recipe for Success founder and CEO, about food deserts and the foundation's U.S. military veterans training program, which is helping vets recover from their wartime stresses and learn to run their own urban farms. Laura Taglialavore also interviewed one of the farm's veteran trainees, Daniel Smith, above, who told her that working around so much life helps him forget the death and chaos of his warzone existence. Justin Myers, the foundation's chief agricultural officer, spoke to the broadcast journalist about the farm's missions and the good things in store for the veteran when he completes his training at Hope Farms. It's a fascinating look at some of the things the foundation is doing over on Scott Street, 10 minutes from downtown Houston. Take a look at the video report:

Culturemap: Ultimate Al Fresco Party

James Brock
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The media coverage of Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet continues with this piece from Culturemap Houston, which conveys all of the elegance, deliciousness, and fun that happened on May 7. The guests were treated to cocktails from Hal Brock (who also designed the floral arrangements for the evening), Rootstock Wines opened some exellent bottles, and the food. Well, the food was something special. The chefs and their teams created a 10-course tasting menu that exceeded expectations, a lineup that included ceviche, lobster bisque, duck leg, and more. The home of Lisa and Michael Holthouse was the perfect setting for the fundraiser, and we're already looking forward to 2019 and the first Monday in May, which is when Delicious Alchemy comes again. Read the Culturemap story here, and take a look at our stellar photos below.

Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet 2018

PaperCity: Delicious Alchemy 'Jaw-Dropping'

James Brock
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The setting was perfect, the chefs some of the best in Houston, the wines and food excellent: Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet was, according to PaperCity's Shelby Hodge, "one spectacular, not to mention oh-so-tasty, soirée." The fundraiser, which brought in more than $250,000 for the Recipe for Success Foundation, took place at the home of Lisa and Michael Holthouse, and if you missed it, you missed something truly special. Read the story here. Intrigued? Mark your calendars for the first Monday in May, 2019, because that's when Delicious Alchemy will return. Until then, enjoy these photos:

Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet 2018

A Tribute to Tomatoes

Recipe for Success
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Facebook-CIF-6.24-final-header.jpgIt's a summer tribute to the wonderful tomato! The Recipe for Success Foundation's next Chefs in the Field Supper at Home Farms will take place on June 24, helmed by chefs Alyssa Dole (Pinkerton's Texas Pit Barbecue), Wayne Nguyen (Maba Pan-Asian Diner), and Martin Stayer (Nobie's). Just 10 minutes from downtown, the evening at Hope Farms features a cocktail and tomato tasting session and a three-course meal created by the chef trio. Thanks to inkind donors and volunteer chefs, 100% of the ticket sales support the Foundation's mission to combat childhood obesity.

Hope Farms is growing 32 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and the chefs will create dishes from the beloved fruit freshly harvested from the 7-acre urban farm. Festivities begin with cocktails and a tomato-tasting and continue with a meal staged at one long table in the farm's Gathering Barn. Tickets for cocktails and the tomato tasting are $75; the $250 ticket includes cocktails tomato tasting and a three-course seated meal with wines. CLICK HERE for tickets.

Delivering Hope to Veterans

Recipe for Success
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DeliveringHope2.jpegWith Welcome Home Baskets brimming with fresh food and kitchen supplies, the Recipe for Success Team hit the road today at noon to Deliver Hope to six veterans and their families who were particularly hard-hit by Hurricane Harvey

In 2017, along with so many Houstonians, these Veterans battled the raging floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey and so many who lost their homes are still in the arduous process of rebuilding their lives. The Foundation was particularly concerned with the interruption of home cooked family meals.

"Our kitchens are the hearts of our homes-where our families and friends share meals and stories, and where life is anchored and celebrated. We wanted to help restore our neighbor's kitchens, filling them with healthy food and the means to cook and serve it," says Recipe for Success Founder, Gracie Cavnar. "Now six families can enjoy these moments again and begin building new memories."

Recipe for Success put out a call for help throughout its network of chefs and supporters and many responded. The first Delivering Hope Welcome Home Baskets are brimming with just-harvested produce from Hope Farms and supplies donated by Chef Thomas Keller and AllClad, along with personalized favorite cookbooks presented by global members of the International Women's Forum and pantry staples donated by Executive Women International.

Beginning today, the families, which include grandparents and grandchildren, a husband-and-wife-veteran duo, and a single father and his son, will receive regular deliveries of fresh produce from Hope Farms for a year, so now these Houstonians who have given so much can focus on cooking, celebrating life and making memories in their new homes.

Recipe for Success Foundation worked with Combined Arms to circulate an application for assistance for Harvey-impacted Veteran families with children under twelve in the home. Here is what one veteran said about his life after Harvey:

"The hurricane forced me to evaluate life in a number of ways, what is and is not important, priorities, belongings and lifestyle. I have since been eating better and cooking more at home for my son and I. I have very little in decorations, as it feels less like a home and more like a temporary situation since we had to leave. I believe having my own new items will aide that sense of "home." I have been blessed to receive used dishes and pans from others, and as I can I buy replacement items, so this would be a great blessing to replace those with something of my own. I know there are a number of people who had it worse than me and I am blessed that I have a place, I can cook, and have managed to get by. So I would request that if I am considered and it came down to me and another family, they be considered first. I am grateful for this opportunity."

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