SBN’s Executive Director Devi Ramkissoon reflects on her time and the meals she had in Uttarakhand, India, and the inspiration to launch Farm to Fork, SBN’s dining event with River Twice that highlights our region’s food producers, raises awareness about the importance of local food sourcing, and promotes sustainable practices within the culinary industry.
In the summer of 2009, I ate some of the best meals of my entire life.
I worked in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, India on an integrated farming campus that supported agribusiness and social enterprise opportunities for local communities. All of our meals came directly from the farmlands on which we worked. The food was always seasonal, nutritious, and flavorful. The community learned how to adjust their growing techniques and products to align with the ever-changing climatic patterns, building resilience practices into their lives. Without access to refrigeration, food that was not consumed each day was repurposed for future meals or fed to farm animals.
Those experiences and practices in Uttarakhand stayed with me long after I left. So much so that when I began as Executive Director of SBN in 2022, I wanted to bring those experiences to our organization and the scores of food businesses in our region.
Last year, we launched our Local Food Systems Initiative, which focuses on reducing food waste within our region, strengthening the connections between local food suppliers and food businesses, and highlighting regenerative agricultural practices. In addition to launching our Food Saver Challenge earlier this year, I’m proud to announce our Farm to Fork dining event with River Twice on Wednesday, September 20. This event carries forward many of the themes that went into creating the beautiful meals I ate while in Uttarakhand – local, seasonal, nutritious, and delicious food with a mind toward food waste reduction.
At SBN’s Farm to Fork dinner with River Twice, guests will indulge in a delectable menu prepared by River Twice chef Randy Rucker, who is known for his innovative and environmentally-conscious approach to cuisine. They will also have the chance to meet local suppliers from Wyebrook Farm and Local 130 Seafood for a discussion on how these practices tie into their businesses. All proceeds from the event will go towards our local food systems work so that we can continue to support food businesses in our region that uphold the principles of localism, waste reduction, seasonality, and all-around sustainability in their work. The cost of the charitable dinner is $300 per person ($500 for couples), which is inclusive of beverages, tax, and gratuity.
From the dinner plates provided by Felt & Fat, to the beverages provided by Human Robot, Mural City Cellars, and the Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop, to the bespoke candles provided by Old City Canning Co., no detail has been overlooked when selecting the businesses we have chosen to showcase that evening. All these partners are deeply aligned with SBN and River Twice’s values regarding sustainability, respect for the environment, and support for local communities.
I hope you join us for an unforgettable evening filled with superb food, great conversation, and a celebration of our region’s local food producers, their artistry, and their commitment to building resilient practices in their work. Tickets are selling out quickly, so I hope to see you secure your seat today!
SBN’s Executive Director
SBN & River Twice Present Farm to Fork: A Benefit Dinner for SBN
Date: Wednesday, September 20
Time: 6 – 9 pm
Location: River Twice, 1601 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19148
Tickets: $300 for an individual, $500 for a couple