As most of my friends and readers here know, I'm passionate about Olivewood Gardens. I teach there regularly as a volunteer and even wrote a piece about it for the Fall 2010 issue of Edible San Diego.
Olivewood Gardens, which is a stunning seven-acre teaching site in National City, helps neighborhood students -- mostly in elementary school -- learn about gardening, nutrition, and cooking -- while simultaneously weaving in the science and math skills of their school curriculum. So, a cooking session is more than demonstrating a recipe from produce grown in the organic garden. It's a hands-on experience that can be about understanding how flavors work together, practicing knife skills, learning about vitamins, figuring out fractions, and having fun!
But, it takes funding to keep this effort going. The weekend of Oct. 1 will combine three great fundraising events, all centered around nationally renowned chef, author, and children’s nutrition advocate, Chef Ann Cooper, aka the “Renegade Lunch Lady.” She will be the featured guest at the 1st Annual Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center Fundraiser, created by San Diego chefs Julie Sayer Darling and Melissa Mayer.
Chef Ann, has been featured on ABC News Nightline, CNBC, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show, and TED, and is committed to “changing the way we feed our children, one lunch at a time.”
This three-day event, with Chef Ann as the featured guest, will take place October 1-3, 2010. All proceeds will benefit the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center.
School kids, their families, and community members can all get involved, meet Chef Ann, and help promote children’s nutrition in San Diego. Here is the schedule:
DAY 1, FRIDAY, OCT. 1, 2010:
Junior League’s Southwest Exchange Conference
Keynote Address by Chef Ann Cooper, “The Renegade Lunch Lady”
6:00-8:00 pm; Fibonacci’s, 10300 Campus Point Dr, San Diego, CA 92121
Tickets: $10 per person and open to the public; includes appetizers and cash bar
San Diegans will have the opportunity to engage in an inspiring discussion about how to make school lunches healthier for our children both nationally and here in San Diego. You don’t want to miss a chance to see this dynamic nationally recognized speaker.
DAY 2, SATURDAY, OCT. 2, 2010:
Organic Dinner and Conversation with Chef Ann Cooper.
6:00 -10:00 pm; Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, 2505 N Ave., National City, CA, 91950
Tickets: $200 per person. Purchase online through Olivewood Gardens. Guests may also RSVP: 619.336-2253 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eighty guests will enjoy an exclusive dinner under the stars with Chef Ann Cooper on the beautiful grounds of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. Guest San Diego chefs and mixologist, Ron Oliver of The Marine Room, will create a sumptuous, organic champagne reception and five-course dinner. All organic produce will be donated by Suzie’s Farm. A silent auction with choice items will take place throughout the evening with all proceeds benefiting Olivewood Gardens.
Chefs include: Amy DiBiase of Cosmopolitan Restaurant and Hotel, Flor Franco of Indulge Catering, Katie Grebow of Cafe Chloe, Ricardo Heredia of Alchemy, Joe Manganelli of Cucina Urbana, Melissa Mayer of Suzie’s Farm, pastry chef Sara Polchynski, Rancho La Puerta, and Chad White of Roseville.
DAY 3, SUNDAY, OCT. 3, 2010: Garden Picnic11:00 am- 3:00 pm; Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, 2505 N Ave., National City, CA, 91950
Tickets: Adults, $50, kids 12 and under, $10. Purchase online through Olivewood Gardens. Guests may also RSVP: 619.336-2253 / email@example.com.
Families will enjoy fun, farming, and food at the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center! Guests will tour edible gardens, learn about gardening and nutrition with hands-on activities, and eat freshly prepared local foods cooked by top San Diego chefs and food writers. And don’t forget your bathing suits and flip-flops! The pool will be open with a lifeguard on duty.
A national television show will be filming the events that day too. Come and see who it is!
Chefs include: Amy DiBiase of Cosmopolitan Restaurant and Hotel, Ricardo Heredia of Alchemy, Kristen Conairis of Wicked Goodies, MIHO Gastrotruck, pastry chef Sara Polchynski, Rancho La Puerta, personal chef, Diane Stopford, and Chad White of Roseville.
Food writers include Susan Russo and, well, me! Please come to one, two, or all of these great events! I'll be there and hope to see you!