Last week, the FEED Co. Table & Tavern–a farm-to-table style tavern and family dining restaurant in Chattanooga’s Southside–hosted a chef’s wine-pairing dinner to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee. Diners enjoyed four courses of delicious, farm-fresh comfort food prepared by executive chef Charlie Loomis and his team.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee is a nonprofit agency that provides education, outreach, advocacy, referrals, case management and other services to people with epilepsy and other seizure disorders, their families, friends and communities. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder in which patients experience more than one unprovoked seizure at a time. It’s more common than Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy combined. No medical condition is easy to cope with, and support from others is crucial to helping patients and their families.
With this dinner, the FEED Co. participated in the fight to raise money and awareness for epilepsy and seizure disorders — all proceeds from the dinner went straight to the Epilepsy Foundation and its programs to support local patients and their families.
The dinner started with a warm artichoke and Brussels sprouts dip and baked pita wedges, paired with a light Chardonnay. I’m a huge fan of spinach artichoke dip, but I’d never heard of making it with Brussels sprouts, too. This dip was creamy, cheesy and a perfect way to start the meal. I also could have made an entire appetizer off those pita wedges.
During the meal, some of the other guests explained their experiences with epilepsy; one lady talked about her daughter’s struggles with the condition and how her treatments and doctor visits had changed their routines. I learned a lot about life with epilepsy just from listening to her conversations. Here are some quick facts about the condition, if you’re curious:
- Roughly 1 in 50 children and adults in Tennessee have epilepsy.
- 1 in 26 people will have epilepsy or a seizure disorder at some point in his/her life.
- No cause is identified for 70% of epilepsy patients.
- A new case of epilepsy is diagnosed every 4 seconds.
Next, we enjoyed a crisp spinach salad with goat cheese, Georgia pecans and flash-fried Brussels sprouts, all dressed with a pepper-jelly vinaigrette, with roasted pear slices on the side. I’d had this salad before on a food tour and was quite pleased to be able to have it again. It’s really filling for a salad and takes care of your protein fix for the day from the spinach. You could easily make a meal out of this salad alone. The salads were paired with a rich Malbec that complemented the salad perfectly. I may be turning into a red wine drinker (though I will never turn down a chilled Chardonnay or Riesling).
For the main course, we were treated to FEED Co.’s chicken breast meal: fresh chicken from Springer Mountain Farms, served with buttermilk whipped potatoes, baked beans and a huge slab of cornbread. Talk about a TON of food! The chicken was roasted in a Carolina gold barbecue sauce — this Carolina girl was super happy with that. Everything was so delicious that I almost forgot we still had dessert coming.
Dinner was paired with a deep red Cabernet Sauvignon. I’d always heard that white wine paired best with chicken and poultry, but the cab was perfect.
And of course we couldn’t have a dinner without dessert! This pumpkin pie cheesecake was light, fluffy and all kinds of delicious. I can’t go all season without some kind of pumpkin treat. Instead of wine, our desserts were paired with a coffee and chocolate porter beer from Ballast Point.
It’s one thing to enjoy a delicious dinner with good company. It’s even better when that delicious dinner helps others who need it. In America, epilepsy costs more $15 billion each year, so every amount of money helps provide the support that patients and their families need.
If you or someone you know is interested in any of the services provided by the Epilepsy Foundation, check out their website for more information. They offer monthly support groups in Chattanooga and Cleveland.
All facts are from the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee.