Phoenix CultivEAT offers farm-to-table grub, fun and festivities


CultivEAT photo

Inspired by the Feast on the Streets event,  Roosevelt Growhouse’s CultivEAT, a farm-to-table dinner, invites friends and family to gather and enjoy music and delicious food and drinks on Friday, May 15, at Roosevelt Growhouse, 902 N. 6th St. in Phoenix.

“Me and my husband have been involved in the restaurant industry for a while and we are very invested in the local, sustainable food culture,” said Amy Otto, an intern at Growhouse and CultivEAT coordinator.

“I thought it would be really great to combine the community feel of Feast on the Street with the atmosphere of a sit-down dinner featuring locally produced food.”

CultivEAT’s menu will include locally grown food options and items made with fresh produce as well as beverage options from Arizona breweries and wineries featuring Four Peaks Brewery and Grand Canyon Winery.

“We’re hoping to have some squash and squash blossoms and maybe some cucumber and some different herbs,” said Kenny Barrett, one of the co-founders of Growhouse.

The menu will be created once Chef Robbie Tutlewsk knows what food options are available since Growhouse won’t be the only place providing food from this season’s harvest.

“We’re a pretty small site and we’re trying to feed 150 people for this dinner so it’s a great way for us to incorporate and highlight some of the other local farms that are a little bit bigger,” Mr. Barrett said.

“She’s (Otto) been reaching out to different local growers and seeing what kinds of things are in season and in excess with them and they’re literally going to just donate whatever they have a lot of.”

“We do grow a lot of stuff; I mean we grow a couple hundred pounds of produce each season but we tend to select four or five different things and focus on that so we can grow more of them,” Mr. Barrett said. “So we will be able to provide some of it but not all of it.”

Growhouse is community-driven and has grown tremendously over the years since it was founded in 2008. The property has grown from a vacant and abandoned area into a flourishing, sustainable community garden and boutique that offers internships for students and encourages the community to volunteer and become involved in sustainable food production.

CultivEAT is one of many parties and events that Growhouse hosts as fundraisers to help fund programs at Growhouse and projects for the students and interns.

“The proceeds for this event will be going toward creating more programs and classes that help the community and students from the Bio Science High School learn how to create urban agriculture,” Ms. Otto said. “We have so many features here that could be used to teach people about sustainable food production but we just don’t have the funds to get a lot of them started.”

Growhouse generally hosts about two parties a year including winter garden parties and summer garden parties and this year’s summer garden party, CultivEAT, will also recognize the student’s work they have been doing throughout the semester.

“CultivEAT is kind of like an explosion of garden parties and just a blown up version of it,” Mr. Barrett said.

Tickets are still being sold for $70 and will be cut off once they have reached 150 sold tickets or by May 10.

“We are starting out by feeding 150 people but if it goes really well maybe we will add a few tables next year and just kind of let it grow,” Mr. Barrett said.

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