Norahbell's Fall Harvest Dinner
EVENTS FALL 2015
Friends often get together at each other’s homes and say “Man, this would be a great place for a party.” We point at things and nod in agreement as we decide where the beer might be served, what we would cook and who we would invite. More often than not we talk more than we act and the best social gathering ever spends the rest of eternity somewhere between our imaginations and the roughest stages of planning.
Thankfully, four years ago, Chef Spencer Thomson and local farmer Jeff Isbell made their thing happen.
It began after Thomson moved to Greenville in 2005 and met Isbell at the downtown farmers market. Back then it was held on East Court Street, not yet ready to commandeer two blocks of Main every Saturday morning. Thomson was working at Devereaux’s and Isbell was just outside selling his produce from his farm Iszy’s Heirlooms. With a common interest in fresh, healthy, locally sourced food, the two forged a friendship easily.
Eventually visits to Isbell’s farm in Liberty prompted the two friends to kick around the idea of a farm-to-table dinner right there at the source. Four years ago the idea came to life and the Norahbell’s Fall Harvest Dinner was born.
Thomson sees this dinner as a “celebration of all things local.” The dinner starts with a whole pig from Bethel Trails Farm and is prepared with the help of Henry’s Smokehouse. The sides are prepared from the freshest in-season vegetables right from Isbell’s farm and beverages come from local breweries, distillers, Haw River Wine Man and Bright Side Beans coffee.
The Norahbell’s Fall Harvest Dinner continues to grow and improve every year. In the beginning Thomson had to prepare everything off site and bring it out to the farm to serve. Isbell has since installed an open air kitchen and bar so everything can be done right on the farm. This allows Thomson to prepare and serve the freshest vegetables right where they were grown. It’s hard to eat any more locally than that.
Even the name of the event pays tribute to the families behind the event. Bell stems from Jeff and Kim Isbell, the hosts of the event, while Norah is Thomson’s daughter’s name. The first Norahbell’s dinner was actually held on her birthday so it seemed more than fitting to pay tribute to the little girl who shared her birthday with her father’s first farm-to-table event.
The best events are grown as organically as the vegetables from your own garden or favorite farm. The Norahbell’s Fall Harvest Dinner exemplifies this in spades as it is born out of friendship, family and a love for the local food community.
NORAHBELL’S FALL HARVEST DINNER
Iszy’s Heirlooms Farm
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