1) Dinner with Hill & Holler. Hill & Holler founder Tracey Love describes it best: “a roving farm dinner event company bringing farmers, chefs, winemakers, and the community together with the goal of enjoying a farm crafted dinner while raising funds for local food and agricultural organizations.” The dinners she puts together several times a year have quickly become legendary in the Charlottesville food community. We had the pleasure of enjoying the most recent one – a four course family-style dinner (menu pictured) at the newly opened Old Metropolitain Hall, prepared by one of the most accomplished chefs in Charlottesville, Dean Maupin of C&O. A benefit for Beyond the Flavor, the meal featured products from a bevy of outstanding local purveyors, including Potter’s Craft Cider, Pollak Vineyards, Sausage Craft, Border Springs Farm, Free Union Grass Farm, Silky Cow, Rare Lynx, Albemarle Baking Co., and Shenandoah Joe. One in our group remarked that it was some of the best food they could ever remember eating. Hill & Holler is a Charlottesville treasure. For updates on upcoming dinners, follow along on their Facebook page.
2) KimKim Sauce and Coco Pop. Watch out, this Virginia-made sauce is addictive, based on the habit-forming Korean paste gochujang, made of fermented chilis, rice, and soy beans. After first discovering it at Feast!, we have been wolfing it down with almost anything – bulgogi, pork, chicken, rice, eggs, etc. It complements all of these things beautifully. But, the sauce is so good that it can even play a starring roll. To wit, it is great on Coco Pop, the airy cakes made from popped wheat flour, rice flour, and corn flour. The neutral, nutty flavor of the cakes allows the delicious KimKim Sauce to shine. KimKim Sauce is available at Feast! and Whole Foods; Coco Pop is available at Whole Foods. This would be a very healthy snack if it were possible to stop eating.