The Charlottesville 29 Turns 10: A Look Back at an Unforgettable Decade
Ten years ago today, this site was launched, with the words: “Suppose the number of restaurants in the Charlottesville area were reduced to a mere 29. What would be the ideal 29?” The aim at the time was modest: draw attention to people and restaurants in the Charlottesville food community that warrant attention.
From those beginnings, it would have been impossible to imagine what the next decade would bring. Perhaps the least expected was creating more than 1 Million meals for the area’s hungry. It was an incredible effort by the Charlottesville food community, culminating with an unforgettable celebration.
Beyond that, there have been too many unexpected gifts to list them all, but to name a few: the Mount Rushmore Chefs Dinner, inadvertently creating a worldwide food sensation, a tear-jerking musical celebration of Charlottesville food, meals with special guests like Tony Bennett, the Governor, and top chefs, an award-winning beer named after Charlottesville, Five Pillars Ale, readers landing a job, the Deli-Egg Roll, a spirit for Charlottesville, a job with a local paper, discovering Charlottesville’s signature dish, Simon’s Sunday Morning Spice, Negroni contemplation, rallies for Charlottesville food community members in need, a Charlottesville video with The Local Palate, StoryCorps, breakfast of champions, podcast appearances, a gig with Eater, and trying to help save Charlottesville restaurants from a pandemic.
Above all of these experiences, though, the greatest rewards of the last ten years have been the relationships grown with so many wonderful people. Even before launching this site, I knew we had a special food community here in Charlottesville. What an honor it has been to learn just how special.
Thank you, Charlottesville.