Food Alliance Hosts Gala Event March 25

The Foodshed Alliance is holding its first annual Gala on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Blair Academy to support its work to help New Jersey’s family farms thrive, provide access to farm-fresh healthy local food for all, regardless of means, and protect our rural environment.

The event will feature a “Chefs’ Throwdown” of appetizers, main courses, and desserts created with the finest local ingredients. The region’s top chefs will be situated at eight tasting tables, preparing food while entertaining and informing guests about cooking techniques and tips. Chefs include Chef Stefan Sabo of Inn at Millrace Pond, Chef Jesse Jones, Private Chef and Caterer of Chef Jesse Concepts; Chef George Mandakas, Boro Hotel, Jeanny Race of Race Farm and Café, Chef Dan Rothman, Whole Foods Market Metrochef in Northern New Jersey; Chef Jessica Genoules of Silver Birch Kitchen; Chef Jonathan White of Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse; and Chef Mike Ciampa of Sage Dining/Blair Academy.

An open bar will feature wines, craft beer, hard ciders, and spirits, all made within 50 miles of Blairstown, from Alba Vineyard, Czig Meister Brewery, Angry Erik Brewing, Ironbound Hard Cider, Barrow’s Intense, and Milk Street Distillery.

At the Gala, five individuals will be honored as Foodshed Alliance Local Heroes:

  • Bob Canace of Ridge and Valley Conservancy — “Person of the Year.” Not only has Bob helped preserve 3,500 acres of land in northwestern New Jersey, but he is a friend and mentor to the Foodshed Alliance, helping us seize opportunities and strategies that are “outside the box” and introducing us to new funders and allies.
  • Doug and Jeanny Race of Race Farm — “Farmers of the Year.” Fourth-generation farmers, Doug and Jeanny Race, have a passion for local food and sustainable agriculture and their generosity knows no bounds. They donate food, time, and expertise to Foodshed Alliance and many other community causes.
  • Barbara Buda — “Volunteer of the Year.” Barbara Buda helped start and volunteers at the Morris County Winter Farmers’ Market with its 500+ local-food shoppers each week.
  • Michelle Smith — “Volunteer of the Year.” Michele Smith is a driving force behind our LocalShare gleaning program which donated 46,000 lbs. of food to local food pantries last year.

The evening will also feature a silent auction showcasing unique, exceptional, and special gifts to amplify the celebration of regional foods and local farms. Musical entertainment will be provided by Lee Larson, a talented musician from Hardwick.

Proceeds will support the Foodshed Alliance’s work connecting food, farms, and the environment to rebuild our local food economy. Please visit, call 908-362-7967 or email to reserve your $100 seat and experience the very best the Garden State has to offer. Seating is limited.

Blair Academy is located at 2 Park Street in Blairstown. The event begins at 6 p.m.

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