Farm-to-fork gala Raise the Barn to raise funds for Feast Down East

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Feast Down East's annual gala to support local farmers is set for Saturday at the Arboretum. Courtesy image.
Feast Down East’s annual gala to support local farmers is set for Saturday at the Arboretum. Courtesy image.

Get ready to dig your fork into some farm-fresh eats.

Feast Down East’s Raise the Barn benefit dinner returns Saturday, bringing a tapas-style selection from a host of renowned local chefs. This year, the third annual event will be held outside on the picturesque grounds of the New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive.

Diners will get the opportunity to sample a variety of homemade creations by chefs from 22 North, Catch, Ceviche’s, Chef and the Farmer, Hops Supply Co., manna, PinPoint Restaurant, Plantation Village, Rx Restaurant and Bar, Surf House and UNC-Wilmington Campus Dining. All menu items will be made using locally grown and raised ingredients either sourced through Feast Down East’s food hub or purchased direct from area farms and fisheries.

Sweet desserts will follow the savory and an open bar will serve up wine and beer, as well as a specialty cocktail for the evening–Carolina Bourbon infused with blueberries from Newberry’s farm in Burgaw.

In addition to the farm-to-fork spread, local favorites L Shape Lot will perform and guests can dance and explore the gardens during the casually elegant evening, which also includes a silent auction and corn hole matches. It kicks off with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and continues until 10.

Tickets are $80 per person ($150 per couple) and are available here. Proceeds from Raise the Barn support the work of Feast Down East, a Wilmington-based non-profit that connects small-scale farms to local markets and improving access to healthy foods in under-served communities.

This year, Feast Down East is highlighting its Healthy Communities Program, which aims to advance food security in low-income neighborhoods through the distribution of affordable, fresh produce, community gardens and healthy cooking classes.