Seeds Harvest Dinner

In my travels I have always taken note of the ability of food to bring people together. From the Iraqi truck drivers I witnessed sharing breakfast cooked from the side of their trucks, to a baseball game tailgate with friends and family here in the states. Regardless of your race, religion or political standing its one of the things that we all have in common.  Thursday night, food brought a community together to support and celebrate  SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces).

Some of the area’s finest restaurants and chef’s brought their A game to Durham’s Central Park to  support a program that is imparting knowledge to the city’s residents and youth about food, gardening and the power of the two when used together. Myself and three hundred others made our way under the pavilion where local farmers normally sell their crops every Wednesday and Saturday, especially fitting since many of the chef’s on hand buy their produce from the local farmers that sell in the park twice a week.

The flavor packed menu consisted of :

Hors d’oeuvres

Toast / Crispy Shitaki-Walnut Crema and Perorino Crostini Goat Cheese-Balsamic Cherries and Black Pepper Crostini

Watts Grocery / Cold Poached Clams on the half shell with Corn and Poblano Salad

Foster’s Market / Roasted Peregrine Farms Red Pepper Pancakes with Mapleview Buttermilk Crème Fraiche and Carolina Crab Salad

Main Course

Dos Perros / Roasted Poblano and Cheese Tamale with Salsa Verde

NanaTaco / Cochinita Pibil Tostada with Achoite Sauce

Comfort Cuisine / Marrakech Express with Organic Black and Red Quinoa

Beasley’s and Poole’s Diner / Pickled Carolina shrimp with charred squash, marinated peppers and Chapel Hiil Creamery “Pheta”

Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop / Whole Roasted Prodigal Farms Goat with Four Leaf Farms Piperade on caraway cracker

Vin Rouge and Mateo / “Pig in a Pup”: a Spanish chorizo dipped in  a corn batter on a stick

Geer Street Garden / Butternut Squash Tortelloni with Lemon Herb Broth

Loaf / Polenta, multigrain and Whole wheat bread


Daisy Cakes / Peach and Raspberry Frangipane Tart with Chantilly Cream

Scratch / Vanilla Buttermilk Sugar Pie with Bourbon Muscadines

Locopops & This &that Jam / Seed’s Fig preserve and Elodie Farms Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Homeland Dairy Cream

Durham Catering and Rise / Donuts: Bacon Maple, Crème Brulee and Peach Fritter


Fullsteam Brewery / Summer Basil and Working Man’s Lunch

West End Wine Bar / Wine

Foster’s Market / Iced Tea

Counter Culture / Coffee

I had a chance to ask SEEDS President of the Board of Directors Garrett Putnam what it means to have some of the area’s best restaurants and chef’s involved in this dinner and he replied:

“For the last 9 years, we have hosted our Harvest Dinner during the peak of the growing season as a way to celebrate yet another year of our organization’s growth and as a way to celebrate the best of the food culture in the Triangle. Since our founding in 1994, we have been involved in some way shape or form in helping lead our vibrant local food movement – from our leadership role in creating a permanent farmer’s market in Durham to the community gardening plots at our Southside Garden that encourage people from all over Durham to produce their own organic produce by providing growing space, advice, tools, and other resources. At our core, we’re all about sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, and environmental stewardship, and there’s truly no better place than Durham – a place that values access to seasonal, locally sourced foods – for us to call home. The Harvest Dinner is our way of giving thanks to our community and we’re grateful and fortunate that we have so many amazing chefs and restaurants that support our cause and are willing to help us put together a magical evening of great food!”

As I look forward to next years dinner, the thought of it already has me drooling with anticipation. SEEDS is an excellent program that continues to make a difference in our community. To find out how your skills can be put to use and help SEEDS click here.

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Categories: Durham, Events


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  1. NanaTaco – Pork Belly? Hog Jawls? Lamb Cheeks? Smoked Duck? | La Buena Vida - October 29, 2012

    […] weeks ago we finally made it to NanaTaco in Durham for lunch. After tasting their tostadas at the Seed’s Harvest Dinner I knew it was a priority to get involved. Walking into Nanataco you can immediately tell it’s […]

  2. Plant a SEED and Eat Well: SEEDs Harvest Dinner | La Buena Vida - September 18, 2013

    […] Last year I had a chance to go to this dinner and there is no better way to support a great program like SEEDs that supports our city while trying some of the areas finest’s restaurants. Below is information about the upcoming dinner also found on SEEDS website at To see my post and pictures from last years dinner click here: […]

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