This Thursday, May 16, is your chance to dine for Growing Minds—and to walk into a restaurant and say, “I’ll see the all-local Appalachian Grown™ menu, please!” It’s the fifth year Peter Pollay has hosted the fundraiser at his eatery, Posana Cafe, which is also celebrating its fourth anniversary. We caught up with Peter to ask him about the tradition and to see if he’d spill the beans about the dishes he has planned…
Q: You’ve been very generous to ASAP and our Growing Minds Farm to School Program in hosting this fundraiser for the past several years. Why is our Farm to School Work important to you?
A: I think it’s really important for everyone to know and have a respect for where their food comes from. When I was growing up, I went to the supermarket—I was brought up in a concrete jungle—and that’s where I found food, on the supermarket shelf. When I got into cooking, I had my eyes open to farmers and everything they put into growing the best possible product and getting that product to restaurants. This is something all children should experience. Taking my kids to farms, I’ve seen it build their interest in fruits and veggies, and they eat well because of that. We’re laying the foundation for them for the rest of their lives.
Q: As an Appalachian Grown partner restaurant, you have strong relationships with farmers. Do the farmers go above and beyond for this fundraiser?
A: Absolutely. We couldn’t hold this event without the help and donations from the amazing local farmers and local businesses we have here. Fork Mountain Farm, Cane Creek Valley Farm, Sunburst Trout Farms, Brasstown Beef, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, Three Graces Dairy, Troy and Sons, Biltmore Wines, Buchi, the list of those that donate goes on. Thursday’s menu will include their local produce, meats, cheeses, nonalcoholic beverages, beer, wine, and spirits. Everyone comes together to help us support Growing Minds, and it’s really fun!
Q: Can you spill any secrets about the menu?
A: My chef and pastry chef and I are coming up with the menu. We know the proteins we’ll have—mentioned above: beef, trout, etc.—but we’ll just have to wait and see about the produce! Strawberries, asparagus, fava beans, right now everything is starting to come in, and we’ll try to use everything we can. The beginning of the season is really the beginning of our creativity with our menu, being able to use the fresh foods coming out of the ground. In the past, dishes created for the fundraiser have ended up on our regular menu, since we get such great feedback from our staff and customers. One of last year’s favorites was pulled roasted pork from Hickory Nut Gap over grits with braising jus. We’re excited to see what will be the favorites this year. See everyone Thursday!
What: Posana’s benefit dinner for Growing Minds
When: Thursday, May 16, 5-9 pm
Where: The newly renovated Posana Cafe, 1 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville
How: Order off the Appalachian Grown menu, and 100% of proceeds from those orders will go to Growing Minds!