Champlain Valley Fair Revives Farm Feast | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Champlain Valley Fair Revives Farm Feast 

click to enlarge ALICE LEVITT
  • Alice Levitt

The Champlain Valley Fair in Essex is going back to its agricultural roots this Saturday, August 30. At 5:30 p.m., guests will descend on the Vermont State Building for the Vermont Farm Feast.

According to marketing and communications director Chris Ashby, the family-style dinner revives a tradition that went the way of the dodo about 20 years ago, though he has struggled to confirm just when the original run of dinners ended. "The fair started as a trade show for farmers, and farming has evolved," Ashby explains. "We'd like to renew that connection with the mass public and remind people why farms are important."

To that end, Ashby contacted Abbey Duke of catering company Sugarsnap and asked her to bring to fruition a modern take on the old idea. Following a simple church-supper template, the meal isn't fancy, says Ashby.

The centerpiece is braised Boyden Farm beef with an herb purée. Sides include wheatberry pilaf sourced from Nitty Gritty Grain Company of Vermont and salad featuring legumes from Vermont Bean Crafters, as well as salad made from Digger's Mirth Collective Farm greens and other veggies from Duke's own Sugarsnap Farm. Dessert bars, cookies and homemade rolls add a comforting note to the fare.

Dinner tickets may be purchased in advance for $20 and include admission to the fair. Diners can also buy them at the door for $15, not including admission.

The meal is a conscious return to form for a fair whose edible options in recent years have perhaps owed more to out-of-state fried-dough vendors than to the hogs and giant tomatoes on show. "[The last such event] was long enough ago that by default it was local food — it wasn't intentional," Ashby says. This year's Farm Feast is done with delicious intent.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Farm-Fresh Fair"
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation