WAXAHACHIE — Farm-to-Table on the Square is celebrating its second annual dinner on Saturday, Nov. 4. Students from Waxahachie High School will prepare a four-course meal solely using local and Texas-grown ingredients.
Several organizations have partnered to use elements of their farms and gardens to bring the community together for a family-style dinner. Some of those groups include the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market, Downtown Merchants Association, Ellis County Master Gardeners, WHS students and other local growers.
The students have been preparing for the event since the first day of school. Fine art students have been designing pottery to go in goodie bags, while the horticulture classes have grown greens in their greenhouse.
Event coordinator Arlene Hamilton said, “The greenhouse is full of all the greens that will be served that night. They are growing kale, Swiss chard, micro greens, and cilantro.”
Organizers are planning a dinner where guests will sit communally at tables stretching on the block of College Street between Franklin and
Main Street on the Square.
This year, the dinner will serve up to 150 people, but Hamilton noted about half the tickets remain. Tickets cost $100, each, and provide the dinner, as well as a goodie bag that includes handmade pottery created by WHS fine art students and a "surprise" from the Farmer’s Market.
The event runs from 5—8 p.m. Appetizers will be served at 5 p.m., while dinner starts at 6 p.m.
Members of the farmers market will have a special gathering prepared from 5—6 p.m. During this time, guests can enjoy food from the market vendors until dinner starts.
The first course will consist of a creamy goat cheese bruschetta with apple, thyme and honey. A kale, apple, pecorino salad with crispy pancetta and a balsamic drizzle will be served as the second dish.
For the main course, a sundried tomato-braized short rib will be served with gremolata over a creamy four cheese herb polenta with cider, braized kale, and Swiss chard.
For dessert, guests will enjoy a honeyed fig crostata.
Hamilton emphasized that during this year’s dinner, the students will be incorporated more in the functionality of the event — working front and back of the house.
“The students will do all the work. They are going to do the set up with all the tables and chairs, greeting people and serving them,” Hamilton said.
Along with the students being more involved, they will also share their first-hand experiences that lead up to the day of the event.
“Between each course of the meal, there will be a presentation,” Hamilton said. “Horticulture students will talk about what they learned. You know, how they grew the greens… the challenges they had and that sort of thing." she explained. "Same way with the art students, they will be talking about their ceramics and what it took to do that.”
All proceeds will benefit the WHS culinary, horticulture and fine arts departments. Waxahachie High School culinary arts instructor, Joel Skipper, said, “The goal for this year's proceeds is to hopefully establish a scholarship for students within the respective programs, as well as use remaining proceeds for needs with our programs, such as necessary equipment.”
Tickets can be purchased at the Ellis County Museum and Visitor Center, the office located at WHS, Fresh Coffee or at www.downtownwaxahachie.com.
Ashley Ford, @aford_news