File Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
Ashley Christensen has assembled an all-star cast of North Carolina cooks, brewers, restaurateurs, and bartenders to support Roy Cooper next week
Farm to Fork—one of the Triangle’s best annual collections of chefs, artisans, and farmers—happens this weekend.
But for an encore that expands the geographical borders and raises money to upend Pat McCrory from the gubernatorial seat, you’ll need to free your Thursday night and $1,000 in your budget.
Chef and charity powerhouse Ashley Christensen
and philanthropist and wine- and art collector Eliza Kraft Olander
have teamed to present a masterful suite of chefs, bartenders, brewers, and sommeliers at Kraft’s North Raleigh estate Thursday, June 9. Billed as a “tasting reception,” the event is a fundraiser for Roy Cooper’s governor run, with tickets starting at a flat grand.
The talent on tap is, well, top-notch, from Christensen and Mateo’s Matt Kelly to Chef & the Farmer’s Vivian Howard and Panciuto’s Aaron Vandermark.
Representatives from Dashi and Bida Manda
, Fiction Kitchen and Five Star are all on board, as are bartenders and brewers from the likes of Slim’s and Stanbury, Foundation and Ponysaurus. Bill Smith
will be there, as will Phoebe Lawless and Karen and Ben Barker.
It’s safe to say that Cooper has more James Beard-nominated boosters on tap than the current governor.
Though Olander is no stranger to fundraising, she says she generally tries to steer clear of the political fray. But as a North Carolinian since 1979, she says this is no time to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to make a difference. This is the most abysmal political climate she’s encountered since becoming a Tar Heel.
“I can’t complain about North Carolina if I’m not willing to do something for North Carolina,” she says. “Remember the Serenity Prayer? Right now, for me, let’s not go to the things I cannot change. Let’s go to the things I cannot accept, and I cannot accept people being discriminated against in any fashion.”
The party officially runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., but Olander expects the night to last much longer than that—Christensen, after all, pulled out all the stops when assembling this cast.
“When Ashley calls out for something, she gets answers within five-to-fifteen minutes, especially for this,” she says. “We have a lot of workers in the service industry that this effects. We know a lot of people, personally, that this effects.”