Last week the first ever National Food Day was held and our friends at The Houston Food Bank invited Lukewarm Legumes to attend the local observation as their guests. The Houston event, Food Day Houston, was organized through the combined efforts of four local organizations: The Houston Food Bank, Urban Harvest, Recipe for Success Foundation, and The City of Houston Office of Sustainability.
The purpose of National Food Day is to help change the way Americans eat and think about food. National Food Day encourages people around the country to sponsor and/or participate in activities that encourage ‘eating real’ and supporting healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.
The Houston Food Day event was held on October 26th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Houston City Hall Farmers Market and included fifteen of Houston’s leading food related organizations as well as thirty five vendors featuring farm direct and prepared foods. More information and photos of Houston Food Day can be found on their Facebook page.
One of the highlights of Houston Food Day events was a Collard Green Throwdown! featuring four local chefs: Monica Pope of t’afia; Randy Evans of Haven; and Peter Garcia of El Meson, all members of the Recipe For Success Chefs Advisory Board; as well as Chef Jose Montoya from The Houston Food Bank’s Keegan Kitchen. Samples of the prepared dishes were handed out to the audience and the winner, Monica Pope, was crowned for her Food Day creation.
While at the Houston Food Day event we had time to speak with representatives from Urban Harvest about their work promoting healthy communities through educating children and adults about sound nutrition and respect for the environment. Urban Harvest also does a great job helping to establish and support community gardens all around the Houston area.
The City of Houston is very involved in supporting local food initiatives, including The City Hall Farmer’s Market. In June 2010, the City of Houston built a container garden at the Bob Lanier Public Works Building. This garden is maintained by City of Houston employees and was the recipient of a 2010 Proud Partner’s Award presented by Keep Houston Beautiful.
We also had the opportunity to visit with several of the food vendors at the event, including Guli Essa of “It’s A Wrap” mobile bistro, NOT your average mobile food truck. We found Ms. Essa (as well as her whole staff) to be very cordial and helpful and the food amazing. It’s A Wrap mobile bistro is a gourmet fusion food truck which has taken the best of the world’s flavors and formed them into individual wraps, including: chicken tikka, beef fajitas, and jerk chicken. Their menu includes veggie and gluten free items as well. We highly recommend It’s A Wrap to our readers. For more information and to find their current location visit their Facebook page.