St. Louis Green Tables Puts Local Flavors in a Bag
by Marilyn Freundlich and Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman PhD, RD, LD (St. Louis)
A joint project of the Green Tables and Fundraising Committees, "Local Flavors in a Bag" (LFB) netted $2,500 for the St. Louis Chapter's student scholarships and community outreach grants. Designed to promote local businesses plus Missouri and Illinois farmers, the event featured seasonal ingredients in a gourmet meal kit for two. Costing $50 each, 65 bags were sold via www.ldeistl.org, and a raffle and wine pairing garnered additional profits.
The October 23 event was co-chaired by chapter Vice President Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman PhD, RD, Green Tables Chair Whitney Linsenmeyer PhD, RDN, and Fundraising Chair Darla Crask, the October 23 event.
Each bag contained all the ingredients needed to prepare an entire meal for two adults and spotlighted local and seasonal produce. The Bag included the ingredients for a salad, main dish (Pasta con Broccoli and Rosemary Garlic Chicken), Apple Crisp topped with Nitro Ice Cream plus two petite baguettes. Angie Eckert from Eckert's Family Farms donated the apples for the crisp.
The meal kit was packed in an insulated LDEI St. Louis bag, along with a petit keepsake baking dish to be used for the dessert course. For an additional fee, wine pairings were also available featuring Missouri vineyards.
Dames made it a "Party for Two" purring those great ingredients together for a really good meal. Ir was a LOT of fun. This is the first time we have done something like this, cooking-wise.
We asked that the farmers deliver their produce to Saint Louis University (SLU); some were picked up by Dames. The bags were assembled in SLU's Shared Use Kitchen by two Dames, two previous scholarship winners, and about 15 volunteers from the culinary class at SLU.
Tucked into each Bag were step-by-step instructions to prepare the meal, plus a link to a YouTube video tutorial with Dames demonstrating each course (www. youtube.com/watch ?v=ZS13YDjbDt4).
Whitney Linsenmeyer introduced the video. Alyse Scaglione showed how to make the dessert; Jamie Daugherty, the main dish; and Alicia Blackwell-Calvert, the wine pairings. This video went out to all meal kit recipients so they could follow along.
Stories of the local farmers and vendors who made the dinner possible were shared. In addition, the chapter's former scholarship winners assisted Dames in the video tutorial and packing the bags. Donated gifts from Sr. Louis businesses were raffled.
Bags could be picked up at one of three locations: Cecily Hoffius and Judith Bellos' Ces and Judy Catering; Fresh Gatherings Cafe, or STL Food Works. For an extra fee, Dames would deliver a bag to the purchaser's home.
For some added entertainment, a golden ticket was placed randomly in one of rhe bags, entitling the winner to free admission to our annual wine tasting fundraiser. The winners of the golden ticket wrote back, "Thank you for this lovely gift. We look forward to the next Les Dames event."
To publicize the event, we used social media, mailing lists, and our website. We also asked the farmers to place it on their social media.
The event feedback was only positive, and the Green Tables Committee is now planning is to repeat this fundraiser in May. Think Cinco de Mayo!
Eckert's Family Farms (Angie Eckert) Ozark Forest Mushrooms Buttonwood Farms
Earthdance Organic Farm (Moira Ross, former marketing and events manager)
Brian Severson Farm
Prairie Farms (Martha Kemper, Vice President, Dairy Experience)
SLU Urban Garden (Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman and Whitney Linsenmeyer)
Companion Bakery (Rose Beckerle, Sales Account Manager - provided petit baguettes)
Ford Hotel Supply (Christy Schlafly, President/CEO, provided lovely baking dishes for the apple crisp) Niche Food Group (fresh pasta at wholesale price)
Russo's Catering (Kathy Costello, Director of Catering Sales, provided Alfredo sauce)
Flavors in a Bag ingredients. Ingredients from Flavors in a Bag made into dinner. Dame Whitney Linsenmeyer and scholarship recipient Madeline Nathe.