Sotheby’s New York to Host Art of Farming Event and Auction

On Tuesday, September 27, 2011, Sotheby’s will host the second annual Art of Farming event to celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation. Just in time for the fall harvest, this special evening provides a unique platform for local farmers, purveyors, celebrity chefs, and philanthropists to join together to support local agriculture and sustainable food practices for all New Yorkers. The highlight of the night will be a live auction of ten crates of delicious heirloom vegetables as well as incredible food and drink experiences led by a Sotheby’s auctioneer. All proceeds from the event will benefit GrowNYC and The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm.

“We are thrilled to host The Art of Farming at Sotheby’s again this year,” says Amy Todd Middleton, SVP Director of Worldwide Marketing for Sotheby’s. “Sustainable farming and preservation of heirloom varietals are a true art form. We are proud to support our local farmers by integrating the food and art communities with this exciting auction and dinner.”

The Art of Farming evening will begin with a cocktail reception with local hors d’oeuvres by restaurant Rouge Tomate and wines by New York state wineries. Cocktails will be followed by a dinner with guests seated at long family style farm tables featuring special dishes by a line-up of prominent chefs and restaurants known for their farm-to-table cuisine. The heirloom vegetables grown especially for the evening by more than 25 local farmers will play a lead role in the Art of Farming dinner as participating chefs will be paired with farmers to create a sustainable feast reflecting the bounty of the season. Dan Kluger, Executive Chef of ABC Kitchen and recent recipient of the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, will curate the dinner designed by his peers. Participating chefs include Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter, Jeremy Bearman of Rouge Tomate, Bill Telepan of Telepan, Mark Meyer of Cookshop, and many more. (For a full list of chefs, restaurants, wineries and farmers please see list on next page.)

On the block during the live auction will be amazing food and drink experiences such as summer farm internships for students, field trips for school classes, celebrity chef dinners, farm-to-table dinners, wine country getaways, and unique farm photography and artwork. The ten crates of fresh heirloom vegetables grown for the evening by local farmers from the tri-state area will be auctioned for $1,000 each with the produce going to vital community food programs in the city. Funds raised will support unique programming at GrowNYC and The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm. Through GrowNYC’s many innovative programs such as Greenmarket Farmers Markets, the organization supports small family farms, preserves farmland, provides access to affordable produce in underserved communities, and educates the next generation about the joys and benefits of eating local and sustainably. The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm program inspires and teaches children to eat well through hands-on experiences on the farm and in the kitchen.

“The Art of Farming auction and dinner at Sotheby’s represents a new level of commitment to sustainable agriculture and good earth practices while supporting and celebrating local flavors,” says Liz Neumark, Founder and CEO of Great Performances. “The Art of Farming is a true celebration of the farmers, chefs, and food makers who feed us, and we are thrilled to have Sotheby’s as an ally in supporting food diversity from the farm fields to our kitchens.”

Leading up to the event, there will be a weekly community greenmarket operated by GrowNYC Youthmarket outside Sotheby’s New York every Tuesday, beginning September 6th through September 27th. Youthmarket is a network of urban farm stands managed by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers, and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities throughout New York City. Youthmarket seeks to overcome the problem of inaccessibility of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables by linking regional farmers with underserved consumers in New York City.

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