UPDATE: Earlier this month I posted a piece about a fun way to bring good people and good food together. It turns out the name of the creative and clever host of the event I dubbed a "Market Social" is Andrea. Since the original June 16th posting date of this story I have been able to communicate with Andrea directly and she has provided me with this nice insight into her motivation, (as well as some practical steps) behind this market based event.
A letter from Andrea......
My partner and I have been members of various CSAs in Richmond, and are currently members of the Victory Farms CSA. We love cooking with friends, so this was just a bigger version (there were 10 of us total) than we usually do. I had a full pantry that day, in anticipation of making whatever came to people's minds. (In the pantry/fridge: veggie stock, pre-cooked beans, various citrus, good parmesan cheese, rice, pasta, polenta, garlic and ginger - plus I made sure my spices, oils, and vinegars were all full.) We have an herb garden, so I anticipated using that, too. I made pizza dough in the morning, and set it to rise. I also provided breakfast (people had paid for the event, so I wanted people to feel a little spoiled). The foods we made were really just some of the foods in my regular rotation of dishes, plus lots of ideas from others. One person transformed a bunch of arugula into pesto. Another made a vinaigrette for salad. One person made bruschetta. Everybody helped clean and prep veggies. My partner tended the grill. (It was 100 degrees out - so he gets major points for that!) Coincidentally, several of the people who attended had recently read The Omnivore's Dilemma. I think that consciousness about the provenance of one's dinner has become more of an accessible idea. (It was that book that really transformed my own thinking about it - shifting me from just being a budding foodie to being more of a locavore.) I had a few goals in planning the event. First, like any host, I wanted people to feel comfortable and well-cared for. I wanted them to eat delicious food. I wanted us to spend a leisurely time together while actually doing something - to get to know one another while our hands were working together on a shared task. And, I wanted people to feel like this kind of eating, and this kind of living, is accessible and real and fun. I'm really pleased with the outcome.
Thank you Andrea!