Downtown Rochester fundraiser aims to bring the farm to the table

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published September 14, 2016


ROCHESTER — This fall, the Rochester Downtown Development Authority is giving the public a chance to eat, drink and be merry dining al fresco on locally sourced cuisine.

“We have a great restaurant culture here — especially when you add our farmers market into it — and we just thought doing something like a Farm-to-Table Dinner might be the best of both worlds and really promote Rochester as a food destination, because we have a lot of foodies that live out here,” DDA Executive Director Kristi Trevarrow said.

The city’s first Farm-to-Table Dinner, which was held over the summer, was a huge hit, according to Trevarrow.

“The first event was a sellout event, so we were very pleased about that — people absolutely loved it,” she said. “Quite honestly, the reason we are doing the second one is because people, on their way out, were saying, ‘Oh my gosh, you have to do another one for the fall, please, please, please.’ So here we are.”

The DDA is hosting its second Farm-to-Table Dinner 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. Community-style seating will be set up at long tables on Walnut Boulevard, between Second and Third streets.

Organizers said the menu, a partnership with The Meeting House restaurant, organizers said will feature the best of Michigan’s fall harvest — all locally sourced from the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market and vendors throughout the state.

“We get to cook in a bit more of a hearty fashion and showcase those end-of-the-summer and fall produce items that we all love so much,” Chris Johnson, owner and executive chef of The Meeting House, said in a statement. 

The three-course dinner will be served family style, along with wine from Fieldstone Winery and beer from Rochester Mills Beer Co.

“It starts out with a light appetizer, and then the main course is a series of main courses and side dishes. It is a slow dinner because it is a three-hour event — so it’s a few side dishes at a time, and then a main entrée, and then a few more side dishes and a main entrée — but by the time you get to dessert, you can’t believe there is actually more food coming,” Trevarrow explained.

The event is limited to 100 people, and tickets — which cost $100 per person and include a three-course dinner, wine, beer and entertainment — should be purchased in advance.

All event proceeds will benefit downtown Rochester events and programs.

The Farm-to-Table Dinner is sponsored by The Meeting House and the Rochester DDA. For tickets, visit or call the Rochester DDA at (248) 656-0060.