Nov. 10 Farm to Table Gala celebrates local farmers with displays, lavish dinner, Smokey Bear

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Crestview, FL — When folks sit down to eat at the Nov. 10 Farm to Table Gala Dinner, they’ll be tucking into the freshest meal in town. That’s because the food will come straight from North Okaloosa County farms to the tables in the Crestview Community Center.

The lavish meal, prepared by several of the region and state’s top chefs, is just part of the evening’s offerings. Before the dinner, free public displays and demonstrations by area farmers, the local 4H, UF/IAFS Okaloosa County Extension, Farm Bureau, USDA, Florida Forest Service and more will fill the Crestview Community Center between 3 and 5 p.m. Special guest Smokey Bear will join the fun, providing family photo opportunities.

Winners of a student art contest, depicting the theme “Celebrating Our Farmers and the Food They Grow,” will be announced at 5 p.m. Live big band music by Hashtag Swing will get toes tapping following the feast.

Mary Richard, the event’s organizer, has assembled a team built around area farmers, who will supply fresh meats and seasonal produce. Antique tractors and modern farm equipment will be on display inside and outside the Community Center throughout the day.

“It’s going to be a spectacular evening,” Mrs. Richard said. “The menu is just incredible, and our guest chefs are going to be doing marvelous things with fresh local meat and produce.”

Guest chefs include pitmaster Darryl Williams of Pop Pop Barbecue and Southern Foods; TV Chef Sherri Williams (no relation to Darryl); and Crestview High School culinary arts teacher Chef Chuck Tingle will join Mrs. Richard in preparing the meal. She expects Florida State Chef Justin Timineri to join the lineup of kitchen masters.

Farm to Table is more than just a showcase of local agriculture, tools of the trade, and a fabulous culinary event.

As a fundraiser for the Crestview Area Sister City Program, a silent auction during the evening features an array of gifts including a Fresh Market wine and food basket; framed, autographed prints featuring Operation Desert Storm and the Blue Angels; and a framed original film poster for the comedy, “Wedding Crashers,” autographed by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

Tickets for the lavish evening for $45 per person or $80 per couple, and are available at the Bush House/ Crestview History Museum, 198 South Wilson St., or online at Dress is semi-FARMal.



WHAT: Bounteous dinner with fresh food from area farms, dancing to a live big band, silent auction, agricultural displays and demonstrations

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 10: Free public displays and demos, 3-5 p.m.; Dinner and music by admission, 6 p.m. till…

WHERE: Crestview Community Center, 1445 Commerce Dr. (behind the post office)

HOW MUCH: $45 single admission; $80 couple. Tickets at the Bush House/Crestview History Museum, 198 South Wilson St., or online at

WHO: Presented by the Crestview Area Sister City Program with local partners. Tickets sales benefit the nonprofit Sister City Program and its student Ambassadors.

Photo: Farm to Table Gala Dinner chefs Sherri Williams, Chuck Tingle and Darryl Williams pose with UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension agent Jennifer Bearden and Farm to Table event organizer Chef Mary Richard.

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