A Taste of Appalachia Tasting Dinner April 9

Posted on March 19, 2017

“I love preparing delicious food. I enjoy it more when I can share it with company, or with family and friends. That is truly one of my greatest joys in life.”  These are the words of Chef Dale Hawkins, who will be preparing a Taste of Appalachia tasting dinner at the Reynolds Homestead on Sunday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. Immediately following the American Music Series concert, the event will feature a program about the foods of Appalachia. Hosted by Jean Haskell, director of the Appalachian Studies program at Virginia Tech, the evening will immerse you in in the cultural foodways of our area. Tickets for the dinner event are $35 per person.

Hawkins, co-owner and executive chef at Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon, WV, will be preparing what he calls “New Appalachian Fare, Global foods fused with local ingredients and giving them a regional interpretation. You’ll find nothing overly complicated, just two or three ingredients working together to create something new or elevate a familiar dish.”

His menus reflects–the seasons, local harvests and that the world is becoming smaller. It draws on products from local family farms, while at the same time it takes advantage of the increased availability of specialty foods from across the globe. It is best described as Seasonal Contemporary Regional cuisine that is strongly influenced by Western European and Pan Asian cultures, as well as local rustic fare. Hawkins’ ultimate mission is to use the freshest, high-quality ingredients for every component on the plate.

Quite naturally his philosophy was shaped by growing up on a farm where gardening, baking breads and learning to preserve foods was the order of the day. Hawkins comes from a large family that appreciates good food. Under the tutelage of his parents and parishioners in the small community of Rock Cave, West Virginia he developed at an early age a deep appreciation for seasonality, food and traditions.

Family traditions like baking pies and Sunday supper, interspersed with daily chores on the farm, fill his childhood memories. Hawkins has always been driven by his natural curiosity for food, cooking and the outdoors. Growing up, he helped his family preserve fruit and pickle vegetables, and he joined with community neighbors in the annual seasonal rituals of making maple syrup.

Celebrate Appalachian culture all afternoon on April 9th, starting with the Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer concert at 2:30 p.m. The tasting dinner and program will begin downstairs at 5:00 p.m. after the concert. Seating is limited for the dinner, and tickets must be purchased in advance. For ticket information, please contact the Reynolds Homestead at 276-694-7181.

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