Food for Thought: A Delicious Achieveability Event

Achieveability held their annual Food For Thought gala last Saturday night. The organization raised over $200,000 to help low-income, single-parent and homeless families as they break the generational poverty cycle. Achieveability provides housing and supportive services so parents can work and pursue higher education, ultimately becoming self-sufficient. Over 25 fantastic restaurants, bars, brewers, and distillers came out to support Achieveability.

Here’s a peek at the variety of dishes that we sampled!

Barbuzzo’s soft goat cheese polenta with vegetables

Marcie Turney’s goat cheese polenta dish was one of the stars of the night. The soft and creamy polenta was exceptionally flavorful and the melted goat cheese paired perfectly with the bright flavor and crunch of the fresh peas and the meaty umami of the mushrooms. Marcie Turney serves her polenta under beef, veal, and pork meatballs at Little Nonna’s.

Later we spoke with Chef Turney about her process and her new restaurant, Bud and Marilyn’s. We learned that Chef Turney is involved with the design of her restaurants, as she studied art in college and still does the chalkboards for her restaurants. Bud and Marilyn were her grandparents who ran a restaurant in the 1960’s and 70’s in Wisconsin, and as she doesn’t yet have an American restaurant, she felt that this would be the perfect way to pay tribute to them.

crab cake balls
Shop 543’s smoked beets with burrata and dandelion pesto

This burrata and beet dish combined the creamy richness of burrata, which is essentially a mozzarella stuffed with heavy cream, with the earthiness of beets and the sharp bitterness of dandelion greens.

farro with mushroom mousse and charred ramps from Terrain Garden Cafe
white chocolate-berry bread pudding
Harvest Seasonal Grille Wine Bar’s blackened tuna tartare
Bistrot La Minette’s country pate’ with pickled root vegetables

I really enjoyed this dish from Bistrot La Minette, which, by the way, also has excellent escargot, for the adventurous among you.  The pate’ here was accompanied by spectacular pickled root vegetables, that, in my opinion, stole the show from the meaty centerpiece.

smoked ham and pea risotto ball from R2L
peach cobbler from Desserts by Dana

This was a delicious morsel! I love peach cobbler, and nothing beats a warm spoonful of soft cobbler accompanied by a nice cold scoop of vanilla ice cream.

menorca tartine from Garces Trading Co.
heirloom carrot tartare with yogurt and duck katsobushi from Blackfish

Chip Roman, of Blackfish, brought heirloom carrot tartare, with yogurt and duck katsobushi. Belying its looks, this was a rich dish.

chilled avocado chaat


Indeblue brought their “drums of heaven” and curry puffs. During happy hour, which goes from 5-7 and 9-close at the bar, you can get these delectable wings for $4, along with a variety of other tasty bites and $5 cocktails.


We capped off the dishes with a baby scoop each of Cardamom Caramel and Coconut Chai from Little Baby’s Ice Cream. Little Baby’s Ice Cream stand and their unqiue flavors are often found at food festivals. They have a brick and mortar store connected to the creative pizza parlor Pizza Brain on Frankford Avenue, a 4 minute walk from the Berks stop on the El.

Overall, this delicious event was made even more delicious by the fact that it was all happening for a worthy charity.  More information about Achieveability here.

-Richard Stark and Elena Crouch

photos by Elena Crouch

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