The public is invited to support their local artists and farmers with Arts and Eats in the “Farm to Fork” series. Guests will have a chance to taste foods from local farms and view artwork from area artists. According to Matt Tipton (chef of Tippy's), “It's educational as well as a meal. The dinner will showcase artists that you will learn about and may not even know existed.”
Tipton said the idea for this series actually was inspired by one that he attended and liked in Champaign. “Dinners like this are held all over the Midwest. The chef explains each dish and the farmers give an educational presentation,” he informed. “I buy my produce from locals all summer long and want to promote our area farms. I also wanted to get some traffic to Sullivan and attract tourists,” Tipton added.
On Thursday, February 28, the first dinner will take place at the Factory Arts Studio in Sullivan. The five course meal will be cooked by local chef, Matt Tipton of Tippy's and feature meat and produce from local farms. Squash, desserts and breads will be provided by the Homestead Bakery and The Great Pumpkin Patch of Arthur. The Homestead Bakery is known for its made from scratch baked goods. Some of its popular desserts include cinnamon and dinner rolls, angel food cakes, Amish peanut butter, jams and jellies. In 2009, the Pumpkin Patch was named Illinois Agritourism Business of the Year.
Organic meat (all grain and corn fed pork) will be provided by Triple “S” Farms of Stewardson. Triple “S” Farms is a family operated farm. All of its pastures and vegetables are Certified organic and the animals are drug free. The poultry is free range and do not receive any GMO grains. In 2006, “Triple “S” Farms was named Midwest Organic Farmer of the Year.
Doors will open at 4:30 pm beginning with light appetizers and drinks. The first course will begin serving at 5:30 with dessert no later than 7:30 pm. Currently there are only 20 tickets left. A five course meal and wine tasting is included with each ticket. To make reservations and order tickets, call Stephanie at 217-728-2684.
Those who can't make this dinner will have an opportunity to attend at another time. On June 13, the next dinner will be hosted at the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur. Guests will get a tour of the pumpkin patch before dinner is served. Then on Saturday, September 21, the last dinner will be at the Little Theater on the Square. There will be a tour as well as a presentation of its history. Dinner will be served on stage. Seating is limited to 60 tickets for all three dinners.
Tipton wants to thank the local businesses and organizations who have helped make this dinner possible. They include The Little Theater on the Square, Sullivan Arts Council, Underground Vintage, Moultrie County Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Sullivan Community Educational Foundation, The Factory Arts Studio, Chef Tippy's, The Great Pumpkin Patch and the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development.