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Visit patchogue.com and scroll down to purchase tickets!
It all started with a colorful photo that was shot in Jonesborough, Tenn., which hosts a huge outdoor farm-to-table dinner each year in the middle of its Main Street.
Eva Rodriguez-Greguski of Patchogue Village, an avid gardener and the founder of the nonprofit group HomeGrown Change, shared the photo (above) to her Facebook page.
“Wouldn’t this be great for our little village?” she recalls posting.
Within minutes she was contacted by several people looking to make such an event happen in Patchogue.
Three months later, and after several meetings with some of those same people, it’s official that Patchogue will host the first Island to Table fundraiser on Sunday, July 31, from 5 to 9 p.m.
The 100-seat outdoor dinner will feature Suffolk County-sourced fish, shellfish, produce, meat, and poultry, and be staged within the New Village at Patchogue apartment complex off West Main Street.
The dinner will feature five top chefs from the Greater Patchogue area, each making a different entree and appetizer, along with locally made desserts and passed hors devours.
The participating chefs will be announced later on greaterpatchogue.com, the event’s official media sponsor.
The Sunday dinner is meant to support local farms, fisheries, restaurants, breweries and vineyards, and raise awareness of the importance of our local food sources.
The $150 tickets [are on sale now] through the Greater Patchogue Foundation (no relation to greaterpatchogue.com).
Visit patchogue.com and scroll down a little bit to purchase tickets!
The money is being raised to help Homegrown Change support gardening and sustainability projects being planned for the Patchogue-Medford and South Country school districts, as well as the Patchogue-Medford Library.
“Summer’s such a magical time. You can sit outside. The days are long,” Rodriguez-Greguski said. “You’ve got the best fruits and vegetables coming in. And the fact that we’re able to do this in our own community is just so unbelievable that we had so many people coming forward.”
The project is getting help from several Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce members, as well as the county’s Department of Economic Development and Planning.
The department’s East End projects coordinator, August Ruckdeschel, is coordinating all efforts to secure food for that day from Suffolk County growers, anglers and shellfish cultivators.
“It sometimes gets lost that we grow almost everything in Suffolk County, from livestock to a very broad spectrum of vegetables,” Ruckdeschel said. “We’re making beer. We’re making wine. We’re distilling liquor. We’re rich in options for Long Islanders to take advantage of, but we don’t always think of our region in those terms.
“Events like this put front and center the broad range of local options we have, and remind us of how extraordinary our revitalized downtowns like Patchogue really are. It feeds into all the aspects of economic development we’re making here in Suffolk County.”
The dinner will be set up in New Village at Patchogue’s Village Green area.
(Take a virtual tour of the Village Green.)
“The whole experience of the Village Green is perfect when you’re talking about bringing people together,” said Dorothy Stallone, the New Village property manager. “The whole outdoor area and the amphitheater is a focal point; after work you’ll see residents out walking their dogs or just sitting and chatting. It’s just a great central area to host something community oriented like this.”