FOOD- THE DISH- Harvest days: Think global, eat local

The folks at CaroMont Farm serve up scoops of honey chevre mascarpone at the CoveGarden Ruritan Club's 8th Apple Harvest Festival.

It might take a week for the dust to settle south of Charlottesville, as several hundred carloads of families and friends descended on North Garden for Vintage Virginia Apples and the CoveGarden Ruritan Club's 8th Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday, November 1.

A small fairground and orchard played host to local food and craft vendors, hay rides, live music, and workshops on the west side of 29 south, near the Crossroads. We loved samples of unusual apple varieties like Limbertwig and Idared, cheeses from local Everona Dairy, and straight-from-the-vat Brunswick stew with a line twoscore long.

But our blue ribbon goes to CaroMont Farm of Albemarle for serving (brace yourself) a scoop of honey chevre mascarpone over slices of warm, sweet baked Virginia apples with homemade bread.

If you didn't kick up some dirt that weekend, you can still find seasonal fare and support the many local businesses and producers behind it. Here's a good place to start: the cheese counter at Feast! where you can find pumpkin chevre, made by the Dodsons at Goats R Us.

Let's talk turkey

And speaking of local food. What about a locally raised Turkey for Thanksgiving? Dish found two places where you can order a local bird, but you need to get on the ball and get your order in early. In Albemarle, contact  Sweet Seasons Farm in Batesville at 540-456-7145, or email In Charlottesville, contact Horse & Buggy produce at 434-284-1084, or email

Rollin' out the red carpet in Staunton

 On Friday, November 7, from 6-9pm Downtown Staunton will kick off its holiday shopping season with its annual Sparkles and Sweets promotion.  The downtown streets will be hoppin' with free entertainment and music, and red carpets leading to your favorite stores, which will be open late. In addition, a number of restaurants will be offering food and drink specials. For instance, the Staunton Grocery joins the celebration with $4 glasses of sparkling wine and a special seasonal appetizer menu. For more information contact Stanton's downtown association at 540-332-3867 or visit 

High five for High Tide

About six weeks ago, High Tide Burrito opened up in the Forest Lakes Shopping Center, in the space formerly occupied by Baggby's old Forest Lakes location and the short-lived Café LaJoi. 

Brothers and owners Jack and James Yancey are native Charlottesvillians who learned the trade working at a variety of familiar restaurants in town, most recently both Riversides, but also including the now defunct Fuel Co., Shebeen, and the Palladio. 

And the beach theme?

"My brother and I are beach bums at heart," says James. "We actually came up with the idea on a beach in Alabama...a year later it's our dream come true." 

In particular, folks seem to be raving about their fish tacos, says James, who describes their concept as "fine-dining fast-food Mexican." 

 "We make everything from scratch," says James, "alot of love goes into making our food."

Indeed, James says the brothers switch off coming in at 6am every morning to prepare the ingredients for their tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas.

So how's it going so far?

"Awesome," says James. "We're loving finally working for ourselves." 

Vinegar-making at Monticello

  The folks at Monticello are doing more than giving tours these days– they're teaching folks how to cook! On November 15, winemaker and master chef Gabriele Rausse will be giving a workshop on making vinegar, an integral ingredient in various Jefferson-family recipes. Rausse will give a little history lesson, explaining the ancient European tradition of using vinegar in cooking, and then show you how to use it in preparing vegetables, meats, and dressings. The workshop will be held at the Monticello Garden Shop at 9:30am, costs $10, and will run for two hours. To make reservations give Monticello a call at 434- 984-9822 or visit their website at

Halleluja! and pass the french toast!

Enjoy some rousing Gospel music and a delicious gourmet brunch at the Virginia Discovery Museum's Gospel Brunch on November 19 at the X Lounge, 10am-noon. Accompanied by piano and drums, Charlottesville's first lady of gospel, Barbara Edwards (along with pianist Art Wheeler), will traverse the past century's gospel styles while you feast on Eggs Benedict, spinach and sun dried tomato frittata, sourdough raisin french toast with grilled bananas and vanilla maple syrup; applewood smoked bacon, roasted potatoes with rosemary and caramelized onions, mimosas, bloody bulls, and more. At $200 for a table of four, it's a little pricey, but it's for a good cause.

To make a reservation call the Virginia Discovery Museum at 977-1925 and ask for Louise or Peppy.