Whether you’re a true gourmand or simply a gal who enjoys a good meal, your guests will love these four benefit auction ideas incorporating a farm-to-table dining experience.
Earlier this month while on the train traveling back from New York to Washington, D.C., I read Amtrak’s magazine Arrive. One article covered the farm-to-table movement and listed several restaurants known for their work in this area.
What is the farm-to-table movement? In essence, it’s about sourcing ingredients locally.
Imagine the chefs in your town all heading to the neighborhood farmer’s market and planning their weekly menus around the seasonal vegetables, fruits, and meats bought at the market. It’s fresh, often organic, and seasonal. I recently dined at one of these restaurants (video below) and had a memorable meal.
Here are four ways to incorporate this hot trend into your own auction procurement plan.
1. Seek a donation from a local restaurant promoting the concept.
In your marketing and subsequent write-ups, advertise the farm-to-table meal. Explain it — just as I’m doing for you right now. Your audience might need some prompting to understand what it is.
2. Some farmers are jumping on the trend and offering meals on their own farms.
Check in with them. Ask for a backstage farm tour and two seats at a place like this one in Illinois or this one in Colorado. “Dinner at Paradise” near Miami, FL has proven popular at some of Red Apple Auctions’ benefit auctions.
3. Contact one of the several companies that organize meals “on the farm” at various farms.
Try Outstanding in the Field (which travels around the USA), Dinners at the Farm (which focuses on Connecticut locations), or Plate and Pitchfork (which focuses on Portland, OR locations).
4. Can’t find anything locally? Create your own dinner for the benefit auction!
Talk to a progressive, fun-loving farmer (or someone with a really big yard). Explain the concept. Show pictures. Sell the vision. Then ask your local “hostess with the most-est” to coordinate a dinner. Give her ideas. Show her Web links. She could even contact local gardeners. Each could donate a dish made with their own backyard produce.
At your gala, sell tickets to the dinner for $30 each, or $50, or $100 … whatever price point makes sense for your community. Depending on your event, all of these donations could be sold in the silent auction or the live auction.
Mmm good. I can taste that delish’ meal now. Don’t forget to invite your auctioneer.
For a video experience of this blog post, watch the video below. (Give it a few seconds to load.)