5 top chefs to cook at Field to Fork dinner on July 27

News-DemocratJuly 8, 2013 

On July 27, HeartLands Conservancy will once again offer the chance to experience an evening of extraordinary dining during it's annual Field to Fork dinner.

The event. which will be held at Bellecourt Manor in downtown Belleville, celebrates all things local with a five-course meal created with ingredients from local sources harvested that day or a few days before the event. The dinner will be created by local chefs as well.

Tickets for members of HeartLands Conservancy are $70 per person, $500 per table. Nonmember ticket prices are $90 per person or $650 per table. Last year's event sold out.

Reservations are required. To learn more about the event visit www.HeartLandsConservancy.org/field-to-fork or contact Mary Ann Lopez Drake at 618-566-4451 Ex. 22 or maryann.lopez@heartlandsconservancy.org .

HeartLands Conservancy works to balance the inevitable growth of the region with the responsibility to protect open spaces and natural resources for generations to come. Efforts are focused on conserving land, building greener communities and engaging individuals and communities in our natural resources.

The chef lineup for 2013 is made up of metro-east residents Kevin Willman of Farmhaus and Josh Galliano of The Libertine STL, both in St. Louis; Jennifer Pensoneau Kennedy of J-Fires Market Bistro in Waterloo, Tim Faltus of Bellecourt Manor and the Pie Pantry in Belleville; and Valerie Pape of Dear Diva Desserts, located in Columbia.

Willman's Farmhaus restaurant is dedicated to supporting local farms, organic food and sustainable agriculture with a menu that changes daily to highlight seasonal ingredients and provide an intriguing dining experience. He was featured in Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs issue and in 2011 was awarded Best New Chef by Riverfront Times.

Galliano, of Okawaville, was awarded Food and Wine's People's Choice Best New Chef and the River Front Times Best Local Chef in 2009. Most recently, he was named Chef of The Year by Alive Magazine and opened his local eatery, The Libertine STL.

Pensoneau Kennedy's restaurant has been featured in the Riverfront Times, Sauce Magazine and recently her crab pasta was chosen as one of the "50 Best Dishes in St. Louis" by the St. Louis Magazine.

Faltus began his career as the manager of St. Louis' infamous Cheshire Inn and Stouffer's Top of the Riverfront. He quickly realized the need for a unique banquet facility in downtown Belleville and decided to combine his skills in design and cuisine, remodeling and upgrading the First Baptist Church on Jackson Street and the Old Masonic Lodge on East A Street into banquet facilities.

Pape, originally from California, left the corporate world trading and moved to a farm in Foster Pond. She makes her desserts fresh from scratch daily in small batches, using only the finest natural and organic ingredients, including fruits and vegetables from her own farm. After four years, her bakeshop continues to thrive and be a local favorite.

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