Farm Fresh

Houston Black Restaurant Week Debuts a Farm-to-Table Weekend

Harvest The Block connects Houston diners with farmers from November 4 through 6.

By Mellanie Perez October 31, 2016

Chef shakti baum headshot t4zngj

Chef Shakti Baum of Etta's Little Kitchen, looking ready to produce some farm-fresh fare.

Leave your boring plate of brisket at home and hit the streets of the Houston’s historic Third Ward neighborhood this weekend for one of the most exciting block parties of the season.

From Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, Houston Black Restaurant Week presents Harvest the Block, a fall culinary series intended to introduce H-Town to the unsung African-American heroes of the state's farm-to-table food system. The family-friendly event will showcase black-owned farmers’ fall harvests alongside health and wellness screenings, gardening classes and many activities for children.  

The three-day event debuts with Kitchen Konversations: Cooking Experience at Etta's Little Kitchen on Friday. There, guests will can witness chef and founder Shakti Baum prepare a four-course dinner with produce from the featured farms. The menu includes Greek-inspired meat and vegetable mezzes, lamb ribs with fig balsamic glaze, lemon roasted chicken and a frozen honey-flavored Greek yogurt custard with baklava crumbles and rose syrup. There will be cocktails, too, courtesy of a demonstration by Tulu.

The following day, head to 4100-4398 Chenevert Street between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a farmers market featuring Plant it Forward Farms and the National Black Growers Council. At the same location from noon to 5 p.m., the Block Challenge will feature a food competition of the best bites from cooks specializing in barbecue, Cajun cuisine, food truck fare and desserts. The Waxaholics and DJ Shante will keep people dancing as they tour the vendor stands featuring food and locally made beauty products. For those still looking to party, the festivities will move to Scrappy Brown's where there will be drink specials until 10 p.m.

Wrap up the weekend on Sunday with the Reunion Community Dinner at the Blue Triangle Community Center, a communal dinner cooked up by Nuksy’s Fine Catering chef Yolanda Henry and Javani King of Dolce Ultra Lounge & Bistro, using produce from local farmers. Tickets for the $40 dinner can be purchased here.

If you'd rather stay at home with that plate of brisket, at least you can also “harvest the block” from the comfort of your own home while still supporting the organization. HBRW is partnering with Uber Eats that weekend to provide produce delivery from the farmers market—hit a button and voilá, a pre-arranged produce basket is at your door. 

“It is important that we tell the black farmer's story. They’re an integral part of our community and the culinary cycle,” explains Warren Luckett, Houston Black Restaurant Week’s chair. “Through our fall series, we hope to showcase their work and create an ongoing relationship between farmers and the local community.”

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