Updated, Aug. 14
Organizers let Patch know that the September dinner is filling up fast, however, the August dinners are going to be rescheduled for dates in September and October.
A memorable meal typically involves fresh food and delicious wine shared with friends or family in a pleasant setting. A new series of "farm-to-fork" events promises to feature all three while creating an experience that brings the table to the farm for a dinner party.
While the concept is not new—similar events are growing in popularity in the Hudson Valley and farm event companies are an integral part of agri-tourism in other parts of the country—it may be the first in Northern Westchester.
"We wanted to promote local growers and raise awareness of small-scale wineries that are using sustainable practices," said Vinny Liscio, a Somers resident, dinner organizer and co-founder of ConsciousWine, a website marketing and selling wines that are "a healthy choice for palate and planet."
The first dinner is Saturday, August 18 at from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. For $155 (group discounts available), guests will feast upon a five-course meal prepared by Lesley Sutter, former chef at The Flying Pig in Mount Kisco, which
Tickets must be purchased in advance, here.
The menu features food grown at and wines from Lumos Wine Company in Wren, OR. Each dinner has a charitable partner that will receive a portion of the evening’s proceeds, and the first beneficiary is, appropriately, Friends of John Jay Homestead.
The philanthropic component was important to Liscio, a 24-year-member and past president of the Somers Lions Club, and annual biker in the 150-mile Friends of Karen ride. And organic and fresh food has been important to him for even longer.
Liscio, who had a 34-year career in bakery distribution before founding ConsciousWine with his partner, Jeffrey Weissler, said he was one of the first suppliers to bring organic bread into New York City. It was then that he "fell in love" with organic farmers and breadmakers.
Weissler and Liscio—who first met when Weissler worked at Spirits in Yorktown and Liscio was shopping at the store—created criteria winemakers must meet—including having animals on their farm, conserving water and energy in their production and treating workers well, among others—in order to be listed and sold through their website.
They enlisted Chris Roberts of , a Katonah-based social media consulting firm, to help them market their site and to co-produce the Farm-to-Fork series.
For Roberts, getting involved on a professional level felt personal.
"The core of everything I love to do — with Really Social, the Katonah Chamber, Slow Food — is community," he said. "A shared meal with local people, whether friends or friends-to-be, with a great chef, a great farmer, and a great wine is just about the perfect expression of that passion. I can't wait for these dinners, and I hope we get enough support to do them over and over again."
Upcoming Farm-to-Fork dinners:
August 25, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
- Featured farm: TBA
- Featured winery: Youngberg Hill, in McMinnville, Oregon
- Charitable partner: Friends of Karen
September 29, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
- Featured winery: Ambyth Estates, in Paso Robles, California
- Charitable partner: Friends of Hilltop Hanover