• By: Keith Whittier

Foodie Fundraiser to Celebrate and Serve African Small-Scale Farmers

Calling all foodies and philanthropists! A unique foodie fundraiser is coming to Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts on May 1 from 7 to 10 p.m.

African Harvest is being held by Ottawa-based charity Farm Radio International to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming and its 35th anniversary. Guests will enjoy live cooking demonstrations by top-notch chefs, delicious Africa-inspired cuisine, a variety of local wine and beer, and silent and live auctions, with all proceeds from the evening going to support Farm Radio International’s work serving African small-scale farmers over the airwaves.

The event brings together visiting chef Jeff Crump of the Landmark Group, which runs five restaurants and a 100-acre organic farm, andlogo (1) Ottawa-based chef Andrée Riffou of C’est Bon Cooking. Chef Crump sharpened his skills at a number of the world’s top-rated restaurants, including Lumière in Vancouver, B.C., The Fat Duck in Bray, England, and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. A Canadian Slow Food pioneer, he is a passionate advocate for local, seasonal food, as is made clear in his acclaimed cookbook, Earth to Table. Chef Riffou studied cuisine and pastry with Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and Paris, attaining the school’s highest qualification: Le Grand Diplôme de cuisine et de pâtisserie. She launched C’est Bon Cooking in 2008 before going on to complete apprenticeships in France and Canada. Riffou is also a staunch proponent of simplicity and homegrown cuisine, believing in eating locally, sustainably and seasonally. Chef Crump and Chef Riffou will each prepare two small plates for guests to enjoy at the event, utilizing ingredients that are grown in Africa.

The master of ceremonies and auctioneer for the evening will be Hallie Cotnam, host of Ottawa Morning on CBC Radio. Having grown up on a dairy farm where the radio was always on, even in the barn, Cotnam understands firsthand the importance of farming and agricultural information.

Do not miss what is sure to be a feel-good evening, owing to both the fine food and drink on offer and the worthy cause.

Farm Radio International has been working since 1979 to harness the power of radio to meet the needs of small-scale farmers. Today, it works with more than 500 radio organizations in 38 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. With the benefit of FRI resources and training, its broadcasting partners deliver practical, relevant, and timely information to tens of millions of farmers, at a cost of pennies per listener. Farm Radio International has received several awards in recognition of its innovative and effective use of radio to improve lives, and its work has recently been featured by CNN, The New York Times and The Toronto Star.

For more information, visit www.farmradio.org. Tickets are available for purchase online through Eventbrite, by phone at 1-888-773-7717 and in person at the newly opened Cardamom & Cloves spice shop at 440 Preston Street. The cost per ticket is $75, with discount pricing available for groups of eight or more.