There’s always a great reason to spend time in Austin, and in May, there’s practically no excuse to miss out! Check out the historic Barr Mansion, where more than thirty of Austin’s most acclaimed chefs will serve culinary samples at the Sustainable Food Center’s ninth annual Farm to Plate evening.

The event, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. May 11, focuses exclusively on locally grown and produced food. All of the participating chefs have shown a commitment to using food from local sources, which is in line with the Sustainable Food Center’s mission.

The event format is “sip and stroll” with guests sampling small bites and enjoying a variety of beverages throughout the evening. This year’s Farm to Plate will feature a brand new VIP experience, hosted by Austin’s Juniper, from 6 to 7 p.m. Chef Nicholas Yanes and his team will showcase the best Juniper has to offer, with a signature cocktail, savory bite and dessert, providing an intimate look into the new restaurant’s fare.

“Each year, Farm to Plate allows SFC to shine a spotlight on the amazing food sustainably grown and raised in Central Texas, those hard working family farmers who ensure access to their products, and the incredible food and beverage artisans who bring these delicious products to life,” says Ronda Rutledge, executive director.

SFC expects 600 guests at the event, and the program will include the annual Sustainable Food Changemaker awards, honoring individuals and organizations that play a key role in fighting hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Tables are available for purchase on SFC’s website at sustainablefoodcenter.org/get-involved/farm-to-plate. VIP tables, which include premier seating, table amenities, and access to the VIP Hour, are $3,000. General admission tables are $2,000. All tables seat 10.

All proceeds from Farm to Plate benefit SFC’s not-for-profit programs including four farmers’ markets, organic food gardening classes, support for area farmers, and interactive cooking classes and nutrition education.

Corporate and in-kind sponsors to date are Central Health, HEB, Silicon Labs, Bank of America, Broadway Bank, CSID, Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Hardie’s Fresh Foods, Horizon Bank, Maxwell, Lock & Ritter LLP, Stratus Properties Inc., Barr Mansion, Blue Avocado, Marquee Event Group, and The Austin Wine Merchant.

Meeting Professionals International, the official sponsor of Smart Monday, has added five new programs to the inaugural day of IMEX America.

Paws for a Break

MPI is teaming up with Love Dog Adventures—a Las Vegas animal-assisted therapy program. Designed as a stress-reducing activity, several dogs will be present during Smart Monday for attendees to cuddle with. These puppy sessions are quickly becoming a hot new trend and have been featured in a number of World Education Congresses. Puppy Cuddling is sponsored by Visit Norfolk.

 

Q&A With Event Director Jaime McAuley

 

A stellar PAMPI event is just around the corner.

Taking place Aug. 19 at the Franklin Institute the “The Art of Connecting People” is free for PAMPI members and is sure to be an enlightening opportunity.

Jessica L. Levin, MBA, CMP, CAE, president and chief connector, Seven Degrees Communications, LLC., will discuss ways in which to get people excited with volunteering and membership organization and how to maintain that enthusiasm.