Sometimes in Birmingham it feels like feast or famine. There are a few weeks in the Spring and another few in the Fall, when it feels like all the fun stuff is going on. The weather is not-too hot and not-too-cold, not-too-dry and not-toomuggy. People are excited to get out and enjoy their city. This weekend is one of those feast weekends. Folks are encouraged to do it all!
On Saturday evening, Café Dupont will host a benefit for the West End (WE) Community Gardens. Chef Chris Dupont will create a menu using fresh seasonal ingredients donated by Whole Foods Market. Established in 2008 as a partnership between Urban Ministry and the Church Without Walls’ outreach program, the WE Community Gardens has enjoyed some early success. In the past year alone, more than fifteen families planted and harvested fruits and vegetables on small individual garden plots. Children in the Urban Ministry after school program got their hands dirty learning about healthy eating and food preparation in the Youth Garden Area. And juvenile offenders learned about gardening and healthy eating as a way to fulfill their court-ordered community service requirements.
And like all healthy gardens, this one continues to grow. Starting in May of this year, Urban Ministry will operate a curbside market, offering items grown in the WE Community Gardens to the area at large. This project encourages youth leadership and healthy eating, community-wide.
Amanda Storey of the United Way’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Program adds, “I absolutely believe that when people—and I’m talking teachers, day care directors, farmers, gardeners, educators, counselors and a plethora of folks behind the scenes serving your community every single day—are supported, we will be better for it. Our city and county will be better for it. You and I will be better for it. More importantly, young folks will be better for it because they will feel that support and may find the hope they truly need to know that their life is precious and that they matter.”
Tickets to the Café Dupont WE Community Gardens fundraiser are $125 per person and $225 per couple. To reserve a seat, patrons are encouraged to email RGLyons@gmail.com. The event begins at 6:30 pm; the restaurant’s address is 113 20th Street North.
Ready for more? At 4:30 pm Sunday, make your way to Old Car Heaven for the Third Annual Swine & Wine Twilight Supper. Presented by Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar, the event benefits Jones Valley Urban Farm. Local and regional chefs—Clif Holt of Little Savannah, Tom Robey of Veranda on Highland, Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon in New Orleans, Haller Magee of Satterfield’s, Chris & Laura Zapalowski of Homewood Gourmet, Chris Vizzina of Campus Dining, Inc., Ryan Hagemann of Whole Foods Market, Chris & Leah Harrigan of Stone’s Throw and many more—will work their magic at this pig roast.
Rounding out the event will be Grassroots Wines, featuring Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards. Beer will be donated by Good People Brewing and Birmingham Budweiser. And it goes without saying that no pig roast would be complete without music. Lou Wamp & Swing Shift will play an eclectic mix of Western Swing, Americana, Jazz, Country and Bluegrass.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.jvuf.org and are $50 ($45 in advance). Children 12 and under are free, while tickets for those 13-20 are $25 ($20 in advance).
Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and is a lover of all things food-related. You can follow her culinary musings on-line at ChristianasKitchen.com or on Facebook (ChristianasKitchen) or Twitter (Christiana40).