If you’re thinking of a night out soon with fine dining and entertainment, I’ll add an incentive: Do it for a good cause.
On July 18, HeartLands Conservancy will hold its sixth annual Field to Fork evening at Bellecourt Manor in Belleville. It’s an opportunity to revel in the culinary labor of five amazing local chefs who will prepare a five-course meal using ingredients gathered the day of and a few days prior to the meal from more than a dozen Southern Illinois farms and producers.
Plus, there will be live and silent auctions and live music.
This year’s chefs are Tim Faltus of Bellecourt Manor in Belleville, Josh Galliano of Companion Bread in St. Louis, Joe Hemp of Robust Wine Bar in St. Louis, Jennifer Kennedy of J. Fires’ Market Bistro in Waterloo and Ben Rudis of Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville. I will be the emcee.
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“My goal in participating in Field to Fork is to bring awareness to what is produced on our lands here in Illinois,” said Jennifer Kennedy. “I’ve participated since the first year of this event and every year it gets bigger and better. It is a great opportunity to bring people together for a great a cause and to raise awareness of the local production that is so important to our communities.”
If you’ve never heard of HeartLands Conservancy, it is an organization that since 1989 has worked to balance the burgeoning growth of our region with the responsibility to protect open spaces and natural resources for generations to come.
If you’ve lived here a while, a reminder of that challenge is apparent with a drive along Lebanon Road from Belleville to Shiloh. Cresting the hill before Green Mount Road used to offer a view of nothing but farmland 20 years ago. Now, it is filled with homes.
The Field to Fork dinner puts a public face on supporting local agriculture and producers in Southwestern Illinois, as well as the need to conserve land, build greener communities and connect people and communities with nature.
Reservations in advance are required. Tickets are $70 (or $500 per table of eight) for Conservancy members and $90 ($650 per table) for non-members; last year’s event sold out well in advance.
To purchase tickets, learn more about the event, the chefs and farms providing food, or to become a member, visit www.HeartLandsConservancy.org/field-to-fork or contact Kim O’Bryan at 618-566-4451 Ext. 10 or email@example.com.
Field to Fork
What: A five-course meal prepared by five area chefs using locally produced foods and products. Plus, live music by Trophy Mules and silent and live auctions. Event benefits land conservation through HeartLands Conservancy.
When: July 18, with cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Bellecourt Manor, 225 East A St., Belleville
Tickets: $70 (or $500 per table of eight) for HeartLands Conservancy members; $90 ($650 per table) for non-members. Required in advance. Purchase at www.HeartLandsConservancy.org/field-to-fork or from Conservancy members.
Information: www.HeartLandsConservancy.org/field-to-fork or Kim O’Bryan, 618-566-4451 Ext. 10, or firstname.lastname@example.org.