Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Gentle Barn Fundraiser Dinner

I had an AMAZING time at Nashville VegFest, and I will share pics and stories from the two-day festival tomorrow! Tonight's post is all about the Gentle Barn fundraiser dinner that was held in Nashville on Friday night, the evening before the festival.

The Gentle Barn is an animal sanctuary with locations in Santa Clarita, California, and Knoxville, Tennessee. The Tennessee location is clear across the state from my home in Memphis, so I've never visited, but it's certainly on my bucket list. Last week, the Gentle Barn folks were transporting a "cuddle turkey" named Adeline from their California facility to their Tennessee place. The Tennessee location was lacking a super-friendly turkey, and since cuddling a turkey is such a magical experience, they wanted to transfer Adeline there. Adeline was rescued from Thanksgiving a few years ago and has been living at the California Gentle Barn ever since.

The tour made several stops across the country, including at Imagine Vegan Cafe in Memphis. But that was on the same day as the fundraiser in Nashville, and I was already on the road. Thankfully, I got plenty of Adeline time later that evening at the dinner!

I also got to chat with Ellie Laks, the founder of Gentle Barn, who accompanied Adeline. Ellie was also a speaker at the VegFest, and she went on right before me Saturday morning.

The VegFest folks comped fundraiser dinner tickets (they were amazingly generous!) for the speakers, and Paul purchased a ticket so he could be my date.

The dinner was held in a clubhouse at the gated King's Chapel community in Arrington, a suburb outside Nashville. When we arrived, we were greeted by an awesome appetizer spread of Punk Rawk Labs Cheese and Crackers.

And Vegan Sausage Skewers.

And Spicy Harissa Hummus and Pita.

Paul had fun playing with his food.

There was an open bar, and even though I'm more of a beer/wine girl, I couldn't resist trying Adeline's signature cocktail, the Green Adeline. It had coconut rum and Midori melon liqueur, and it was actually really good. Not too sweet, which is typically my problem with cocktails. After one, though, I switched to beer.

Before dinner, everyone mingled and listened to the band. The whole time, Adeline was wandering around, greeting everyone. She was so friendly, and she made the cutest little turkey noises.

And then it was time to eat! Our first course was a Mixed Green Salad with Craisins, Almonds, & Blueberry-Peach Vinaigrette.

The soup was Chilled Avocado, Pea, & Mint. Very good. Refreshing.

Of course, the entree at a dinner honoring a turkey had to involve Field Roast! We had Celebration Roast with White Wine-Lemon-Thyme Mushrooms, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Tricolored Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, and Haricot Vert. Even Paul, my non-vegan partner, loved this dish! He ate all of his Field Roast and most of his veggies!

Dessert was an Almond Risotto Cake with Grilled Pineapple Coulis & Fresh Berries. I've never had anything like this, but it was very tasty. Not too sweet. It was almost like a pressed cake of rice pudding.

There was a silent auction as well, and Paul loves a good auction. He can't stand to be out-bid, and he'll typically end up spending way too much just for the sake of winning. But it all goes to a good cause so ... Anyway, he bid on this awesome painted horse quilt as a gift for me while I wasn't looking! And he won! It's now hanging in the bedroom.

Okay, I'll be back tomorrow with a VegFest recap!


vegan peace said...

I've been following Adeline's traveling adventures on Instagram. She is making so many new friends, and it's been wonderful to see. That's awesome that you got to meet her! The food looks amazing, and I'm so happy Paul loved it too!

Sarah said...

I can't wait to hear about VegFest!! The dinner looked like a lot of fun and it's so nice to see and event for such a great cause. I love the picture of you with Adeline. I'm glad that you and Paul had such a great time and how fun that he won the auction! A great night all around it seems :)