Picture this: the year is 2019. Eating and drinking with and amongst strangers is a normal occurrence. You’re out at an event at City Hall where Ottawa has shown up in full force to support local community organizations while celebrating collaborations between local chefs and farmers. The next day, while sitting in your office surrounded by colleagues, you tell them about the great night you had at Feast of Fields.
Fast forward to 2021. Good news! The supportive community and exciting collaborations look a bit different but are back. You’re just going to have to tell your coworkers about it during your next zoom call instead of around the water cooler.
Tickets are on sale now for Feast of Fields, an event that brings together Ottawa’s top chefs and local farmers for a signature culinary event. Funds raised on September 15 will support caregivers and individuals living with dementia. To learn more about this year’s event I reached out to Carefor via email.
Apt613: I see that the event is back at City Hall—how will this year be different from past events? What has it been like planning a fundraiser during COVID?
Carefor: We’re thrilled to have the 25th Annual Feast of Fields back at Ottawa City Hall on Wednesday, September 15 at 6-9pm. The pandemic has been challenging for everyone in our community, but even more challenging for our local restaurants, some of which have struggled to keep their doors open. Carefor’s Feast of Fields is all about bringing our local communities together – chefs, farmers, and foodies – for a good cause.
Carefor’s Feast of Fields is all about bringing our local communities together – chefs, farmers, and foodies – for a good cause.
Last year, Feast of Fields was hosted on the patios of Restaurant 18 and Das Lokal, bringing top local chefs and farmers together to host a spectacular 5-course dining experience.
This year, we’ve got some chefs from past years joining us like Chef David Godsoe from Restaurant 18, Chef Dominique Dufour from Gray Jay, Chef Justin Champagne-Lagarde, Chef Ben Baird from Pelican, and some new chefs like Mike Radford from Whalesbone and Mike Moffatt from Thyme & Again.
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This year will look a lot like our Feast of Fields event in 2019, but with added safety measures. Of course, the creativity behind all the dishes will be different. The chef and farmer pairings are still in the works. LouLou Lounge has also sponsored the event and will play a key role in creating its vibrant and lively atmosphere. This year we’ll also have prizes and other ways to support Carefor’s effort in helping our programs that support people living with dementia and their caregivers. Few have endured more during COVID-19 than the families we support daily, and donations will go to making sure they are getting the supports they need to stay together at home longer.
Few have endured more during COVID-19 than the families we support daily, and donations will go to making sure they are getting the supports they need to stay together at home longer.
Planning a fundraiser during these times has its challenges, especially when your plans hinge on changing public health restrictions. We’ve pivoted last year, and we’ve prepared for any health measures we need to consider for this year. Nevertheless, our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of everyone participating in the event. We’re excited to reconnect!
The event is so neat because it pairs local farmers with local chefs. Have you heard of any other collaboration that have evolved from Feast of Fields?
Some really cool things happen behind the scenes at Feast of Fields aside from the obvious connections made with new farmers and suppliers.
The community-building and relationships that are developed are priceless benefits to gathering around a fine culinary experience.
Our Chefs don’t get many opportunities to see each other in larger groups. There’s something really special that happens – particularly at the gathering after guests leave. We always show the Chefs our respects by gathering them all afterward to socialize and celebrate the success of the event. Romances have blossomed at Feast of Fields, collaborative popups planned, reunions, anniversaries and birthdays celebrated.
It’s not just a fundraiser for Carefor. The community-building and relationships that are developed are priceless benefits to gathering around a fine culinary experience.
Other than Feast of Fields, how can the community support Carefor?
Home care and community support services are needed now more than ever. As a not-for-profit organization, aspects of our programs and services rely on fundraising support to continue operating, so members of our community can support us by simply donating online at www.carefor.ca/donate, joining us at our events, and even by simply getting the word out about what we do.
And speaking of events, we have more events coming up early next year. We have a new campaign in the works to support caregivers and we’ve once again partnered with Crackup Comedy Festival.
Is there anything else Apt613 readers should know?
After a year and a half of COVID, it’s time to reconnect and Carefor’s Feast of Fields is the perfect place to get together.
There’s an art and a science when it comes to cooking amazing food. Feast of Fields is a local culinary experience like no other raising funds for a cause that affects a vulnerable population in our community. We can’t wait for everyone to join us to see how special this event is!
Feast of Fields is scheduled for September 15, 2021 from 6-9pm at Ottawa City Hall. Tickets are available online via Eventbrite for $75/person. For updates as we get closer to the event, follow Carefor’s Feast of Fields on Facebook and Instagram @feastoffields613 or visit their website at feastoffields.ca