All tickets are sold out for Revelstoke Local Food Initiative’s annual Midsummer Night’s Green event.
The dinner is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Local Food Initiative (LFI). Returning for the first time since 2018, it’s being held at Terra Firma Farms on Aug. 13.
The tickets also include a shuttle service to and from the farm. Attendees can look forward to live music, an auction, and a guided walking tour of the farm.
Hand-crafted cocktails will be made by Monashee Distillery, Mt. Begbie Brewing will bring beer, and wine pairings will be made for dinner.
However, Chef Josh White will oversee the main event: the food. White has been the chef of these events three times, which included two in-person, and one by delivery during the pandemic.
But making an event like this happen isn’t easy.
White curates the menu for the event, sourcing all the ingredients locally. The work -for White- starts the year before.
“There’s always an ingredient or something that I then find out—I’m excited about. Because you’re inspired by doing the event. So, this year, I’ve already got a couple of menu ideas for next year,” said White.
The challenge for White isn’t sourcing the ingredients—that’s one of the parts he enjoys.
“It’s kind of the bread and butter of what I do. You stroll around the market, because that’s what you want to do as a chef anyway. That’s where I want to spend my Saturday mornings and my weekends,” said White.
The products used in the food for the event are all local. Whether it’s meat, vegetables, or even an ingredient as fine as flour, White ensures that it all comes from the region. He even sets himself additional challenges to keep it even more local.
“I like to impose some self-sanctions as well. I don’t think we should be using lemon juice and stuff if we can’t really be growing lemons here,” said White.
Instead, White would rather tweak the recipe and use a more local product like apple cider vinegar from the Okanagan.
The toughest part of the gig for White is also his main responsibility. Curating the menu is not just a matter of deciding which dishes to serve. He takes the ripeness of ingredients, location, and occasion all into account. He tries to ensure that the menu fits the whole scene seamlessly.
When it comes to cooking for over 100 people at the same time, there are two main things that White relies on.
First, he does as much preparation as he can prior to the event. He’s already prepared the pickles and ferments finished. As the event draws closer, he’ll make the pasta in advance, too. The rest will be cooked on-site using the Village Idiot’s food truck, which has the capacity to accommodate White’s needs for the event.
Second, White relies on a team of fellow volunteer chefs who all work together to be as efficient as possible.
When all of these aspects come together, attendees will be treated to interesting dishes.
Revelstoke Local Food Initiative event coordinator, Henry Williams, weighed in with the key elements from their perspective.
“We couldn’t do this without the volunteers,” said Williams.
While tickets are sold out for this year’s event, the team is still looking for volunteers to help out. For those who can’t do that, they’ll have to wait – and salivate – until next year.