The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

All Heart: The Rally for Allie

If you want to understand Charlottesville’s food community, you need to know its heart. In all of my years writing about our food community, no virtue stands out more. Yes, it is a talented bunch. Passionate, too. But, above all, when one has a need, others rush to fill it.

While I have seen this happen time and again, there may be no better example than the food community’s response to chef Allie Redshaw’s recent accident. The former sous chef of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and head chef of Timbercreek Market is one of Charlottesville’s brightest young stars. She is the devoted wife of chef Ian Redshaw and smitten mother of a beautiful baby girl, Sawyer. Early morning March 1, while working at Lampo, her life changed in an instant when her hand became stuck in a meat grinder. Her hand could not be saved.

Immediately, the food community leaped to her aid. A Go Fund Me Page, started the very next day, has raised nearly $150,000; a list of volunteers to make daily meal deliveries to the Redshaws filled as soon as it was announced; and, one after another members of the community asked what they could to do help. While no set of words or images can capture the compassion the food community has shown, the recent Rally for Allie did offer a glimpse.

It all started with host Pippin Hill, and owners Lynn Easton Andrews and Dean Andrews. Not only did the Andrews donate their facility, but they and their staff planned it all, too. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that Pippin Hill is so experienced and skilled in special events, being one of the nation’s best wedding venues. But, events like this take a lot of work. And, for the past several weeks, on top of all of their regular responsibilities, Pippin Hill staff organized and executed a massive event, all to benefit Allie and her family.

Next were the event’s contributors, which reads like a who’s-who of the Charlottesville food community. Chefs included Pippin Hill’s own Bill ScatenaCraig Hartman of The BBQ Exchange, Dean Maupin of C&O, Lee Hendrickson of Red Pump Kitchen, Caleb Warr of Tavola, Greenwood Gourmet’s Polina ChesnakovaGerry Newman of Albemarle Baking Company, Gail Hobbs-Page of Caromont Farm, and Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations – while Dave Fafara of Shenandoah Joe provided coffee. Each one conceived and prepared special tastes just for the evening, which they personally served from stations throughout the ball room, allowing guests to graze from one stellar dish to the next.

With Allie as their inspiration, every chef knocked it out of the park. Every one. Hartman is an example. “I wanted to do a dish that has the word angels in it, because I felt that it would be appropriate for the Redshaws,” Hartman said. “That made me think of the dish Angels on Horseback.” Hartman’s riff included a fried oyster atop a cube of pork belly, all bathing in a pool of Outer Banks style striped bass chowder.

Next were the many donors of auction items for the event. To recruit donors for charitable auctions can often require active solicitations. Not this one. We simply posted a link to a donation form, and watched the donations flood in. Despite doing almost no solicitation, we received more than sixty donations of special experiences, services, and other items from generous donors.

Also not to be overlooked are the guests – 200 in all — who gladly paid $50 per ticket to join the food community in supporting Allie. Long after tickets sold out, I received repeated inquiries from people asking if there were any way to attend the sold-out event. When I told them unfortunately no, invariably they’d respond: “That’s okay, I’ll donate anyway,”

Finally, there are the Redshaws themselves. Not everyone has the character to accept help with grace. For people to whom generosity feels foreign, receiving it can leave them uncomfortable in their own skin. But, Allie and Ian are two of the kindest souls you could ever meet. Generous in their own spirit, accepting the help of others with dignity and gratitude has come naturally.

In the end, the event raised $35K for Allie’s recovery fund, to help with expenses of treatment, rehabilitation, and a prosthetic. Thank you to everyone involved for making the Rally for Allie such a wonderful celebration of the compassion of the Charlottesville food community. If you would like to donate or help the Redshaws, you may email charlottesville29@gmail. com

Below are images of the evening, courtesy of Tom McGovern.

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Gerry Newman, Albemarle Baking Company

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Team C&O

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Caleb Warr, Tavola

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Lee Hendrickson, Red Pump Kitchen

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Bill Scatena, Pippin Hill Amalia Scatena, Cannon Green

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Gail Hobbs-Page, Caromont Farm, w/ Daniel Page

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Anita Gupta, Maliha Creations

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Craig Hartman, The BBQ Exchange

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Cured beef top round w/ compresses pear and parmesan – Caleb Warr

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Crudo of Yellowfin Tuna and Hamachi, with jalapeno-ginger relish and aioli – Dean Maupin

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Smoked Rag Mountain Trout with horseradish creme fraiche, apple, and potato gaufrette –            Dean Maupin

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Carpaccio w/ smoked tomato vinaigrette, Hawaiian lava salt, bourbon peppercorns, fried shallots – Craig Hartman

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Yellowfin tuna poke w/ smashed avocado and inamono

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Smoked salmon croissant with dill, red onion, and capers; olive and herb fougassette with kalamata olives and herbs de Provence – Gerry Newman

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Esmontonian – Gail Hobbs-Page

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Angels on Horseback – Craig Hartman

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Amaretto mocha whoopie pies – Anita Gupta

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Espresso chocolate mousse w/ salted caramel, hazelnut – Anita Gupta

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Vanilla butter cake with lemon curd and fresh berries – Anita Gupta

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“Ideal” – honey cake w/ dulce de leche cream, walnuts, dark chocolate – Polina Chesnakova

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allierally

Rally for her.

Auction for Allie

Allie

On March 1, rising star chef Allie Redshaw lost her hand in a horrible accident while working at Lampo. Since then, the outpouring of love and support for Allie and her husband Ian has been extraordinary. Now, the community is doing even more by auctioning off amazing experiences, services and items for Redshaw’s benefit. These will be part of an auction at the Rally for Allie, a food and wine fundraiser for Allie, March 27 at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

The best part? Every penny goes directly to Allie’s Recovery Fund, to help with medical expenses, rehabilitation, and a prosthetic. So, you can help Redshaw’s recovery while treating yourself to something spectacular from our local community.

UPDATE: The auction is now closed. Thank you to all of the generous bidders and donors.

AUCTION FOR ALLIE

James Beard Dinner for Ten
Ian Boden, Melissa Close-Hart, and Angelo Vangelopoulos

The winner and nine guests will enjoy the culinary experience of a lifetime: the first dinner ever prepared by all three Charlottesville area chefs who have been James Beard semifinalists for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Melissa Close-Hart, chef of Junction, was a four time semifinalist as Executive Chef of Palladio. Ian Boden, chef-owner of The Shack, is a two time semifinalist, once for The Shack and once for Glass Haus Kitchen. And, Angelo Vangelopoulos, chef-owner of The Ivy Inn, is also a two-time semifinalist. To mark the occasion, the three chefs will prepare a nine-course meal of special dishes created just for the winner and their guests, each with cocktail or wine pairings.

Note: the meal will be held at Junction and scheduled on a mutually convenient Sunday-Tuesday with the auction winner.

Current Bid: $2,500

Wintergreen Fireworks Supper for Six
Chef Ellen English

Ellen English is an accomplished chef who once ran the Trillium House and now offers boutique catering services. The winner and five guests will enjoy a summer supper prepared by English at the Wintergreen 4th of July Jubilee fireworks celebration, on July 3, 2017. The package includes festive decorations and pre-setting of six chairs in a prime viewing area, where the meal will be delivered. Note: Wintergreen does not allow outside alcohol, but will have wine, beer, and cider available for purchase.

Current Bid: 

Handmade Monolith Chef’s Knife and Studio Tour
Monolith Studio Knives

Handmade Monolith knives are beloved by area chefs. In addition to a tour of Monlith’s studio in Ivy, the winner will receive a 9″ chef’s knife featuring Damasteel, brass pins and bolsters, and a leather sheath handmade by local leather smith Aaron Baker. The knife also uses historic walnut from Peter Jefferson Place on Pantops Mountain, once owned by Peter and Thomas Jefferson. Monolith Knives are 100% handmade in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Damascus Chef knives are used by some of the finest professional and home chefs in Charlottesville, throughout the US, and abroad, and they are the 2016 Garden and Gun – Made in the South Awards Runner up. Lifetime warranty. To learn more visit www.monstu.com

Current Bid: $600

Professionally Produced Video Commercial
Eric Hurt

A 30 or 15 second professionally produced commercial spot for your small, local business. Eric Hurt’s production team will create a national level spot for your business, including pre-production, production and post-production. Credits include Whole Foods, Pizza Hut, DuPont, Wal-mart, and seven feature films. This can also be used for high end web video. Note: Any additional production costs are not included. Agencies and large corporations are not eligible to bid. Not including air time. Production can begin anytime after July 2017.

Current Bid: $900

Family Four-Pack to the 8th Annual Festy Experience
The Festy Experience

Four passes for your family or friends to join The 8th Annual Festy Experience, a Blue Ridge Mountains festival featuring Music, Craft Food & Beer, and Family-Friendly Camping. Previous headliners have included: Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Robert Earl Keen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tony Rice, Josh Ritter, David Grisman, Chris Thile, John Scofield, Lee Ann Womack, Sam Bush, Brett Dennen, and more. 2017 Headliners to be announced in May. The “Family Four-Pack” includes Four Weekend Camping Tickets, Four Thursday Arrival Passes,  and a GA Vehicle Pass.

Current Bid: $205

Four Seats at an Exclusive A Pimento Wine Dinner
A Pimento Catering

Four tickets to any A Pimento wine dinner. These popular dinners, which typically sell out, feature the gourmet cuisine of A Pimento Catering and visiting winemakers from around the world and those representing them.  Dinners include five or six courses paired with the producer’s wines.

Current Bid: $600

Filipino Pop-up Dinner for 15
Splendora’s Gelato

Splendora’s owner PK Ross is known for her Filipino cooking, and the winner and fourteen guests will enjoy a buffet style Filipino feast either at Splendora’s or the winner’s chosen location. Though not a vegetarian friendly cuisine, some edits can be made. Spleandora’s will work with the winner on the menu. Note: dinner will be scheduled on a mutually convenient Sunday or Monday evening.

Current Bid: $750

Drip Cake Workshop for Two with Maliha Creations
Maliha Creations

The winner and a friend will learn how to frost and fill their own two tier cakes and achieve super sharp edges. Make a pourable ganache for dripping. Make chocolate gems, and artfully and safely arrange flowers. Then, they will each take home their own cake and enjoy! The lesson should last about 2.5 hours.

Current Bid: $300

Storytelling Family Photo Session
Signe Clayton Photography 

Storytelling Sessions focus on preserving memories, capturing authentic and meaningful connections, and showcasing your everyday in all its beauty. Whether a regular afternoon at your house, Saturday morning breakfast, an annual family tradition like carving pumpkins or decorating the Christmas tree, or the first few days home with the newest addition to your family, Storytelling Sessions leave you with images that transport you back to that moment in time. No posing or forced smiling. Just your real life, documented beautifully.  Storytelling sessions are 2 hours and will take place in the winner’s home, or another location that is meaningful. The session includes at least 45 edited images on a USB. The winner will also have the option to purchase additional print products, such as custom albums.

Current Bid: $230

Mimosa Brunch for Four
Red Pump Kitchen

Sunday Brunch for four at Red Pump Kitchen with mimosas!

Current Bid: $200

Small Business Website
CEB Design Studio

Put your best food forward online with a fully responsive modern website. CEB Design Studio will work with the auction winner to design a 3-5 page WordPress based website that features the winner’s small business or service, customized to their specifications. Completion will require 3-4 weeks.

Current Bid: $350

Professional Logo Design
Tama Ordway

Tama Ordway is a graphic designer and illustrator with more than twenty years of experience of branding for restaurants, small businesses,and non-profits. With a passion for branding, Ordway will design a logo for your business or organization.

Current Bid: $500

Workplace Training Course – American Heart Association 
First Responder Systems, LLC

Your choice of the American Heart Association Healthcare Provider Course or the American Heart Association First Aid, CPR, and AED class. Up to eight participants. Two-Year certification. Eight participants at your office or place business.

Current Bid: $650

Whole Tunis Spring Lamb
Gryffon’s Aerie

Whole grass-fed spring lamb. USDA inspected. Available whole or professionally cut and wrapped to your specifications.

Current Bid: $410

Coffee for A Year
Mudhouse Coffee

A year’s supply of coffee. Your choice of coffee beans delivered to your home every month for a year by Mudhouse, Roast magazine’s 2017 Coffee Roaster of the Year.

Current Bid: $350

20 Indoor Cycling Classes
Zoom Indoor Cycling

20 cycling classes at Zoom Indoor Cycling. Good for one year. Zoom Indoor Cycle is a high-energy, music-driven, boutique fitness studio that offers a unique, full-body workout in just 45 minutes. Book class 7 days a week online.  Enjoy spa grade lockers and showers post ride.  Experience the next generation in indoor cycling!

Current Bid: $175

Original Painting: “Blue Ridge Backpacking”
Blue Stream Studio

Original 60 x 48 in painting by Jim Calhoun of Blue Stream Studio. You may view the painting here.

Current Bid:

Five Year Vertical Pinot Noir Tasting and Vineyard Tour
Ankida Ridge Vineyards

Year after year, the Ankida Ridge Pinot Noir is one of Virginia’s most acclaimed wines. The auction winner and seven guests will enjoy an exclusive vertical tasting of this very special wine, along with a tour of the vineyard personally hosted by the vineyard owners and winemaker. Note: The winner will schedule the tasting and tour at a time mutually convenient with the owners and winemaker.

Current Bid: $600

Sound System Rental 
Cville Sound

One professional PA sound system, including generator if necessary, delivery, and set up. Can be used for tailgates, house parties, corporate functions, etc.

Current Bid: 

Commonwealth Reserve Event Space for 100 to 150
Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar

Enjoy the use of Commonwealth Reserve, a private event space on the Downtown Mall. Host a party for up to 100 (seated dinner) or 150 (standing). While just the space is included, discounted staffing and catering are available from Commonwealth Restaurant. Or, the winner is free to bring or have catered their own food and beverages. Optional features of the space include: tables and chairs which can be used in any configuration, two bars, a small stage, a projector and screen. Note: the winner may reserve the space in advance, without limitation, for any available Sunday thru Thursday. Or, if the winner would prefer a Friday or Saturday night, Commonwealth will confirm the date less than 30 days before the event. So, to book it on Friday June 30th, for example, Commonwealth would confirm on June 1.

Current Bid: $150

Draft Beer Tasting for Twenty
Draft Taproom

Draft Taproom is Charlottesville’s first self-serve bar, where customers pour themselves beer, cider, and wine. The winner’s group will enjoy reserved seating for twenty people and an array of appetizers to share, while a beer expert leads them through a a variety of beer styles or facilitates a blind tasting for the group.

Current Bid: $400

Hand Forged Roasting Pan
Blanc Creatives

13 inch Blanc Creatives hand forged carbon steel roasting pan, featuring a ten-inch cooking base, one and a half inch sidewalls, and two bronze loop handles. Great for stove top, or in the oven. Guaranteed for life. Locally crafted in the Belmont neighborhood.

Current Bid: $400

Tasting, Lunch, Overnight Stay, and Wine Package for Four
Early Mountain Vineyards

Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia welcomes you for an afternoon of wine tasting and lunch for up to four guests, a tour of the vineyard, and a night’s stay at their beautiful guest cottage! It is with great pride that they showcase and share some of the finest wines that Virginia has to offer. In addition to serving their own estate-grown wines, the Early Mountain tasting room features a selection of some of the most celebrated and best-loved Virginia wines from other award-winning wineries. The winner will also receive six Virginia library wines from Early Mountain’s collection.

Note: Expires April 1, 2018. All guests must be 21 years of age or older. Cottage can sleep up to four guests and includes a king bed as well as a queen pull-out couch in the living room. Subject to availability of the Cottage and staff to direct a tour of the vineyard. Reservation required.

Current Bid:  $700

Viennoiserie Workshop for Four
Levain Baking Studio

Croissants at Home! – a private group workshop for 4 people. The Viennoiserie workshop is a one day class to learn Classic Butter Croissants and Pain au Chocolat (chocolate filled croissants), taught by Levain Baking Studio founder Sharlene Mendoza McNeish. Learn the lamination process (folding butter in dough) by hand + rolling pin to make butter croissants and chocolate filled croissants in your home kitchen. The Levain Baking Studio is a 1940 renovated barn-turned-baking studio school ten miles east of Charlottesville, equipped with a deck oven with steam injection for artisan breads, a convection oven for pastries, a Le Panyol wood fire oven for outdoor baking, bakery grade mixers and a dough sheeter. This environment fosters interaction between bakers while engaging in the science and the art of baking. It’s a space for bakers to gather, share and learn. Note: The winner and Levain Baking Studio will schedule on a Saturday best suited for both parties. Valid for up to one year.

Current Bid: $425

Beer, Bakin’, and Bourbon for Bros
Paradox Pastry

Chef Jenny Peterson and Paradox Pastry offer this hands-on, deep in it, baking class of all things manly and manful. Send yourself or your favorite guy to explore his inner pastry chef while conjuring up plenty of take-home delectables laced with beer, bacon, and a wee bit of bourbon (just for fun). We promise to teach the men and “guy girls” to fish, er, bake, forever keeping them and their loved ones filled with sweetness. Class size is six participants, and length is 2-3 hours (depends on the time ratio of fun to work!).

Note: Class time to be scheduled at a mutually convenient day and time between Paradox Pastry and winning bidder. Expires April 1, 2018.

Current Bid: $205

A Year of Relaxation – 12 Massage/Bodywork Sessions
CalmingPoints

Twelve monthly sessions of massage or bodywork for the auction winner or someone of their choosing. In a quiet oasis, the winner will be able to relax and retreat from the outside world. CalmingPoints offers methods that strengthen the body’s natural ability to heal and ease pain and tension. Quiet rejuvenation is a great start to reducing stress in everyday life. Choose from Asian acupressure, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Pre-Natal or Zero Balancing. Expires May 2018.

Current Bid: $405

Private Bourbon Tasting and Custom Shirt Design for Eight
Alton Lane

The Alton Lane Charlottesville showroom, on the Downtown Mall, will host the winner and seven guests for a private bourbon tasting and fitting for shirts that Esquire magazine says will “fit your body perfectly.” Members of the group will taste several different bourbons, each be fitted for a shirt (including a 3-D body scan), and individually select their own custom designed shirt based on their fitting.

Current Bid: $300

Common House Chef’s Counter Dinner for Four
Common House

The winner and three guests will enjoy the view of the bustling kitchen at Common House while their four-course meal is prepared by Chef Antwon Brinson and his team. Each course will be introduced by Chef Brinson or General Manager Joe Scala and paired with wines selected by Erin Scala (DWS). Note: Valid Monday – Thursday after June 1st, 2017. Offer expires June 1st, 2018.

Current Bid: $300

Handmade Tea Set
Sherri Raffaele Pottery 

Wood-fired tea pot and two tea bowls. “I approach pottery as a celebration of the small rituals in daily life,” says potter Sherri Raffaele. “Every day we form relationships with objects and come to rely on them as part or our routine. We may reach for the same coffee cup each morning and find that, if it’s not there, the morning is not quite right. Add this tea set to your daily ritual.” Materials: Stoneware, natural ash glaze. Dimensions: Teapot – 9”x 7”x 12”; Bowls- 3.5”x 3”x3.5”.See image here: http://www.sherriraffaele.com/

Current Bid: $105

Two Night Stay in 2BR Silver Creek Condo

Two night stay in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium in Silver Creek, WV – affiliated with Snowshoe. Features include an indoor & outdoor hot tub, plus a fitness room. The unit is fully equipped with a range oven, electric baseboard, ceiling fans, high speed internet, and a balcony. Note: Winner will schedule with owners for a mutually convenient time.

Current Bid: $500

“Follow the Chef” Market Tour and Dinner
Keevil & Keevil Grocery & Kitchen

The winner and three guests will meet chef Harrison Keevil at the Charlottesville City Market at 9 am on a mutually convenient Saturday. With Keevil, they will walk the market, talk to the vendors, and pick up ingredients for dinner later that day. They will finish the tour with tacos, of course. At 7 pm that same day, the group will be welcomed at Keevil & Keevil Grocery & Kitchen, where Keevil will use the ingredients from the market to make a four course dinner with wine and beer pairings. A very special experience for any food lover.

Current Bid: $400

Library Wine Tasting for Twelve w/ Michael Shaps
Michael Shaps Wineworks

The winner and eleven guests will enjoy a private wine tasting with winemaker Michael Shaps. Wines will include rare, library offerings from both Michael’s Virginia and French selections. A delicious arrangement of charcuterie and cheese will accompany the wines. The winner may choose to have the tasting at the winery, 1781 Harris Creek Way,or in the new tasting room at 1585 Avon Street Extended.

Current Bid: $425

Wine Guild Membership
The Wine Guild of Charlottesville

One year membership to The Wine Guild of Charlottesville. The Wine Guild is a club that helps members find better wine and pay less for it. Members can buy wine for 20% off normal retail prices. How? The Guild is not a traditional store, but a club that makes just enough to cover expenses. The staff tastes over 100 wines each week, then sends out emails to members featuring the two or three best. Members can also order wines they are already familiar with or wines they’ve discovered at a restaurant or through a friend. The club hosts wine tastings and pop-up restaurant nights a couple of times a month, which are open to the public, and the club loves seeing new faces.

Current Bid: $125

Permanent Hair Removal Treatments
Smooth Skin Laser

Four underarm treatments of permanent hair removal.

Current Bid:  $250

Two Night Stay at the Inn at Crossroads
Inn at Crossroads

The winner and a guest will enjoy a two night stay in the room, suite or cottage of their choice at the Inn at the Crossroads. A full three course breakfast is included. Walking distance to Pippin Hill Vineyard. Note: Valid any dates through March of 2018, subject to current availability.

Current Bid: $260

Rally for Allie

Allie

On March 1, rising star chef Allie Redshaw lost her hand in a horrible accident while working at Lampo. Immediately, the Charlottesville food community rallied around Allie and her husband Ian with love and support.

Here is your chance to join that support during an amazing evening with our food community. On March 27 at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, where Allie was once sous chef, a group of top Charlottesville chefs and producers are coming together to Rally for Allie. In addition to Pippin Hill’s own Bill Scatena, chefs include Craig Hartman of The BBQ Exchange, Dean Maupin of C&O, Lee Hendrickson of Red Pump Kitchen, Caleb Warr of Tavola, and Greenwood Gourmet’s Polina Chesnakova, another recent victim of a life-changing hand injury. Contributors also include Gerry Newman of Albemarle Baking Company, Gail Hobbs-Page of Caromont Farm, and Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations. Guests will enjoy an array of specialty sample dishes from the chefs and contributors.

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Pippin Hill and the participants, every penny of ticket sales and auction proceeds will go directly to Allie’s Recovery Fund, helping Allie, Ian, and their 16-month-old daughter as they face the daunting expenses of medical care, rehabilitation, and a prosthetic, among others. To join the food community on this special night, get your tickets here. Details:

  • What: Rally for Allie – A Food & Wine Benefit for Allie Redshaw
  • When: 6 – 8 pm, March 27, 2017
  • Where: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
  • How Much: $50 per person

Helping Allie

Allie

The Charlottesville food community has a great history: when one one of ours needs help, we rush to provide it. Yesterday, one of Charlottesville food’s brightest young stars suffered a horrible accident. Despite the life-altering nature of her injury, Chef Allie Redshaw and her husband Ian are strong, positive people, prepared for the challenge that lies ahead. Here in Charlottesville, though, we will not let them do it alone.

Please consider donating to Allie’s medical and recovery fund. Details and donations here.

 

Mas y Mas

gambas

Last week, MAS Tapas’ beloved carne asada appeared in Five Finds on Friday for the sixth time. This would have tied it for the most all-time Five Finds appearances if another MAS dish had not also appeared in Five Finds. Gambas al’ parilla made its seventh appearance in Five Finds. Charlottesville chefs cannot get enough of the jumbo shrimp grilled Catalan style with plenty of grey salt and garlic alioili from the gods. This may explain why chef Mike Ketola’s work bio reads: “I cook shrimp good.” Yes you do.

But, there’s a lot more to MAS than steak and shrimp. In total, MAS dishes have made 47 appearances in Five Finds on Friday, “more” than any other restaurant, a tribute to the lasting excellence of Tomas Rahal’s tapas bar fourteen years after first opening its doors to Belmont. Thank you to Tomas and his outstanding staff for being excellent. We are blessed.

Five Finds on Friday: Reggie Calhoun

calhoun

Photo by Derrick Waller.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Reggie Calhoun, chef of Draft Taproom and Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, both of which have donated great items to the Auction for Allie, where local businesses are auctioning off special experiences and services to benefit chef Allie Redshaw. See all the great items and place your bids here. Also, on Monday, March 27, Calhoun is competing against Miso Sweet chef Frank Paris III in a Duel Chef Showdown at Tin Whistle Pub. Details and tickets here. Calhoun’s picks:

1) Double Bacon Cheeseburger at Riverside Lunch. “This is not only a place that sells the best burgers in town but it also holds a lot of memories for me growing up playing soccer. My friends right after practice would go straight here and get the double bacon cheeseburger with fried onions and pickles. These burgers are perfect just as they are – juicy with tons of beef flavor and a tiny bit of crispiness to them. Each bite just melts away. It’s the perfect burger!”

2) Bourbon Fruit Punch at The Alley Light. “The first time I went to this place, I expected it to be over-the-top good, and sure enough it was. I sat at the bar and asked the bartender to select a drink. She asked me which spirit I wanted, and I chose bourbon and said I’d like something very refreshing. She ended up making a drink that not only was the best fruit punch drink I have ever had but still to this day is my favorite drink I’ve ever had, period.”

3) Polyface Chicken Wings at Rapture. “Nothing much to say other then hands down the best chicken wings in Cville. Super clean and clear chicken flavor, juicy, and crispy.”

4) Gambas al’ Parilla at MAS Tapas. “Very simple dish, but that’s just the reason why these shrimp are awesome. Briny and fresh, with the fattiness of the garlic alioli that they make in house, which is key, and huge chunks of sea salt.No lie, I eat these once a week or at least every other week. I love MAS!”

5) Carne Asada at MAS Tapas. “In my opinion, this is one of the top steaks in Cville because it is always cooked perfectly and seasoned just right so the steak flavor shines through. Served with garlic alioli and tortillas dabbed with duck fat.”