First Lady McAuliffe: Shop Local, Give Back this Holiday Season

by Caroline Logan | Posted: Dec 18, 2015

Comments: 2 Comments

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The holiday season is in full swing in Virginia, and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is encouraging Virginians to shop local and give back.

While you are busy planning your holiday menus, be sure to include some Virginia-made foods that will definitely wow your guests. Virginia has more than 260 wineries, more than 120 craft breweries, seven oyster regions, and countless farms dotting our pastoral countryside. Our award-winning products from around the state are sure to add something special to your holiday table- and your guests will love the local flavor.

“The nation is taking notice of Virginia’s exceptional regional flavors and a rich heritage that offers a distinctive sense of place,” said First Lady McAuliffe. “Virginia chefs are committed to serving dishes that reflect our regional diversity, sourcing from local farms and purveyors to provide extraordinary dining experiences. The holidays are the perfect time to channel your inner top chef, offering an opportunity to showcase our local Virginia bounty.”

Virginia chefs aren’t the only one taking note of our local culinary splendor. Travel + Leisure magazine recently published the adventures of Barboursville sommelier Jason Tesauro and world-renowned chef Bo Bech, as they scoured the Commonwealth for the best ingredients to showcase in Bech’s much-anticipated Bride of the Fox pop-up dinner in New York City.

On the home front, First Lady McAuliffe is also encouraging Virginians to give back to their local communities. The First Lady is dedicated to eliminating childhood hunger and increasing access to providing fresh, locally grown products for everyone, and promoting our family farms.

“This holiday season, I encourage all Virginians to give back to their communities by volunteering and donating to local food banks and food pantries. There is much work to be done year-round, but the holidays are an especially important time to reflect on how fortunate we are, and give back any way we can,” said the First Lady.

To learn more about the First Lady of Virginia and her mission to end childhood hunger, please click here.

If you would like to include some Virginia-made dishes on your holiday table, here are some of the delicious items featured in the above photos:

  1. Artisan Breads: Sub Rosa Bakery (Richmond)
  2. Charcuterie: Olli Salumeria (Mechanicsville)
  3. Chutney: Virginia Chutney Company (Flint Hill)
  4. Ham Biscuits: Made with Edwards Virginia Ham (Surry)
  5. Beer: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout (Richmond)
  6. Wine: Barboursville Octagon (Charlottesville)
  7. Wine: Chatham Vineyards Church Creek Chardonnay (Machipongo, Eastern Shore)
  8. Wine: Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay (Charlottesville)
  9. Wine: Williamsburg Winery Dry Rosé (Williamsburg)
  10. Cider: Foggy Ridge (Dugspur)
  11. Cheese: Caromont Farms (Esmont)
  12. Oysters: Ruby Salts (Cape Charles)
  13. Oysters: Big Island (Gloucester)
  14. Oysters: Rappahannock River Oysters (Topping)
  15. Vegetables: Seasonal, locally grown
  16. Pies: Mom’s Apple Pie (Leesburg)

Florals: Nature Composed

Photography: Katie Stoops Photography

Styling: Fete Studio


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So glad to see the First Lady of Virginia focusing on the “go local” message and locally-made products and agriculture. Another wonderful item Virginia wine, beer & culinary fans should check out is the beautiful new The Virginia Table book from Our Local Commons and Early Mountain Vineyards. Also, the Go Virginia Pass 2016 features locally owned/locally grown Virginia businesses, including complimentary tastings for two at Chatham Vineyards (featured in the list above) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.