Here’s What to Expect at the 2015 Fire, Flour & Fork Festival in Richmond, Virginia
If you missed Fire, Flour & Fork last year, you will find this year’s lineup of food and drink even more intriguing. Southern food, collaborative chefs’ dinners, Halloween fun, and tons of great things to drink, learn, see, and do are hallmarks of Richmond, Virginia’s celebrated culinary phenomenon known as Fire, Flour & Fork (FFF). Last year, we fell in love with FFF, especially the people, food, and culture in Richmond, and we are happy to cover this fabulous event again this year.
Touted as “A Gathering For The Food Curious,” this brilliant event was created and launched by Maureen Egan and Susan Winiecki, associate publisher of Richmond Magazine, the same dynamos who created the popular Real Richmond Food Tours and the Mid-Atlantic Food Writers Symposium.
This year, the celebration lasts five days, instead of four, and has something for everyone, including the kids. It all begins on Wednesday, October 28 and ends Monday, November 2. Every day is packed with tons of things to eat and drink and the event schedule gives foodies from around the country the chance to explore Richmond’s distinct neighborhoods, meet the important chefs and restaurateurs changing the dining landscape in Richmond and America, and take part in historic costume balls, cooking classes, food demonstrations, tastings, dinners, farm tours, and more.
Here are some highlights of what’s on the menu at each track this year:
On the Fire track, 21 dinners will be co-hosted by all 12 of the Richmond area’s James Beard award-nominated chefs, who will again be accompanied by a counterpart from cities up and down the East Coast, from the South, and from the Midwest.
These talented teams will create signature menus that celebrate our country’s rich culinary tapestry by offering diverse menus that include a range of dishes from the South, are vegan or gluten-free, and reflect a mosaic of cultural and historical influences.
The Chefs: The festivities begin at one of the South’s most iconic and popular food markets: Southern Season. Chef Ian Boden of The Shack in Staunton, Virginia with get things started with his special Best American Ham Dinner.
Joining him over the five days will be a talented line up of chefs that includes: Steven Satterfield from Atlanta’s Miller Union, Bryan Voltaggio from Frederick's Volt, Peter Serpico from Philadelphia's Serpico, Travis Grimes from Charleston's Husk, Mike Isabella from Washington, D.C.'s Graffiato, and many more important chefs.
If bread, desserts, and baking are your thing, this year’s tempting baked goods are even more plentiful and presented by four hugely talented masters of the flour realm including Joanne Chang from Boston's Flour Bakery & Café, Mindy Segal from Chicago’s Hot Chocolate, David Bauer from Asheville’s Farm & Sparrow Bakery, and Lisa Donovan from Nashville’s Buttermilk Road.
For lifetime learners, insatiable gourmands, and the perennially curious, the fork track is the hub of special events, classes, tastings, and other opportunities to stick your fork into something special. This year, the offerings include:
- Five Sunday suppers are included in the line-up this year, including the John Dabney Dinner at newly opened destination hotel, Quirk Hotel. Chefs David Dunlap and Michael Hall will tell the story of this forgotten African-American Richmond hotel cook and restaurateur with their interpretations of his 1860s and 1870s dishes.
- Amuse Restaurant at the VMFA will be the site of the Bartender Battle, where four Richmond mixologists duke it out for high stakes.
- The renowned, historic Jefferson Hotel brings a bit of glamour to the scene by reviving Richmond’s Beaux Arts Ball from the 1930s. This fancy costume ball will celebrate Richmond’s landmarks through architecturally inspired dishes and costumes. Build your evening around your costume and food from 12 Richmond and visiting chefs, led by Lemaire’s executive chef Walter Bundy.
- Joining the FFF Richmond restaurant lineup for the first-time is L’Opossum with a dinner saluting The Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell, Metzger Bar & Butchery, and others.
- The Urban State Fair is back, free and open-to-the-public, but on Sunday and under at tent at Sixth and Broad.
- Individual tickets to the tasting tent will be sold this year.
- There will be special farm tours with Edwards Ham with a stop at The Martin Agency for a reception; C.F. Sauer; Sally Bell’s; Scott’s Addition beverage makers; the Appliance Museum, and Lewis House art.
- At a Sunday supper, kids can participate in a special dinner and class Bryan Voltaggio at Family Meal.
The schedule of events is available online and you can buy tickets for one day or multiple days. Get social and share all the fun with Twitter @fireflourfork, Instagram @fireflourfork, and Facebook “Fire, Flour & Fork.”