Five Finds on Friday: Kristen Suokko

by Charlottesville29

Kristen Suokko

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  As we head into Thanksgiving week, today’s picks come from Kristen Suokko, Executive Director of Local Food Hub, the nonprofit devoted to our local food system that works with seventy small farms to distribute fresh produce and meats to schools, hospitals, retailers, restaurants, food banks, and more.  Suokko’s picks:

1)  Salad Bar at Blue Ridge Country Store.  “In fact, anything fresh and quick will do. Their salad bar and soups are the perfect grab-and-go lunch option, and I often stop by mid-afternoon to pick up fresh produce to cook for dinner that evening.”

2)  Prosciutto Panini Special at Feast!. S. Wallace Edwards prosciutto, pickled red onions, local apples, and Caromont Farm goat cheese on focaccia.  “Their specials change daily based on what is available from local farmers, and they never cease to have something spectacular.  My kids love The Elvis, made with Virginia peanut butter, candied bacon, and bananas on oatmeal crunch bread.”

3)  Double H Farm Pork Chop with Local Apple Cider Glaze and Delicata Squash at Hamiltons’ at First and Main.  “Chef Curtis Shaver is able to bring out the best flavors of every season, and does an excellent job at using the best of what is available in our area.”

4)  Winter Quiche at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery, with local bacon, eggs, and vegetables.  “Whenever I’m hiking in western Albemarle, or visiting some of our many vineyards or breweries, I always stop by Greenwood Gourmet Grocery in Crozet for a bite. All of their café food is prepared in-house daily. Their offerings are complex yet always remain true to the flavors of our region, like a fresh summer slaw made with cabbage, carrots, peppers, and onions, or the warm winter quiche. And, I never skip on dessert here, especially their homemade pies!”

5)  Winesap Apples from Dickie Brothers Orchard. “Local Food Hub works with a handful of orchardists in our area, all of whom have introduced us to unique and rare varieties over the years, like the tart Gold Rush, the sweet Pink Lady, the firm red-skinned Jonathan, and more.  Just last night, at our food awards and 5th birthday celebration, Dickie Brothers Orchard won our award for 2014 Partner Producer of the Year, Fruit.  You can pick up a local apple just about anywhere: Integral Yoga, Rebecca’s Natural Foods, paired with a hearty soup from Revolutionary Soup, or fresh from the Charlottesville City Market, just to name a few.”