Hello, my name is…

Terri.

Many of you now know that because the lanyard name tag I’ve donned, with feast logo and upper and lower case 72pt. type, is hard to miss.

We frequently hear from our customers that once they’ve discovered us, they’re hooked. Our recent 10th Anniversary party showed us how many folks have been frequenting the store since the days it was first conjured by Kate and Eric, welcoming the artisan cheese seekers of central Virginia to the Main Street Market a decade ago.  Sadly, some customers come and go. But like Michael, baby Peter and doting Grandmother Luiza pictured here, many do not leave by choice. I was just getting to know Michael as a regular customer when he shared with me he would be leaving town. His wife’s UVA Architecture gig was up and the family would return to Harvard. Michael came in to feast at least 3 days a week and ordered lunch from the cafe menu, no drinks, then strolled on home. When queried, he spoke quietly of our great food.

He’s not alone. I know many faces and quite a few names of “regulars” who stroll in daily. Or stop in once a week, or have a planned monthly trip from out of town prepared to fill up their empty coolers. With some I’ve quipped about what they do on Sunday, the single day of the week we are closed. Benton, Charlotte, Melba, Lucia, Ned, Francisco, Melissa & Kate, Carola, David, Lizzie & Rick, Jed & Erin, Rene & John, Shannon & Mary, Paul & Maria, Kennedy, Katarina, 4 Karens and 2 Emilys, are but a few we see from our perch at register, in cafe, at the cheese and deli counter, and from our mezzanine offices above.

We know you, what you come in for each week, even what you might order for lunch before you approach the counter. Here’s a little random nattering on the names and faces of Feast.

Megan leads the cafe, has been to LA and back and can work a chainsaw. Julia is quite the visual artist with more than soups and sandwiches. Hernan is a powerhouse 4 days at feast and more at Beer Run, his daughter Nancy works the line with precision. Zuri is our dynamo food prep, ninja line wonder! Rene and Santina keep the backroom spic and span. Irvin knows your name and your side order preference, wielding his lunch ticket book.

Moving to the cheesemongers, Sara is fluent in Italian, manages the counter and rocks out to Steve Earle and Old Crow Medicine Show. Levi has a bulldog tatoo and is quite the oenophile. Wes is our Celtic wonderman.

Upstairs, Eric and Kate, our intrepid owners do much more than count the cheese wheels. Dave the GM loves his redwings, his wife and son and anything with truffles. Cari makes sure I get paid and does all things office. Jenna is an avid book worm, orders the food you and I devour, wields a price gun, and mans the register with a smile. Kelsey comes from Nelson County 0-dark-thirty farming roots and is the new produce and gift box manager.

On the floor is awesome Alex in her Toms, gently sweeping your items into a basket, and offering you a taste of your soon-to-be-new favorite treat. At register, Kim keeps efficient company ringing through the lunch rush. Me, I eat a lot of peanut butter balls, Effie’s oat cakes, cherry tomatoes and Fleur Vert. All at the same time.

Automotive Challenges at the Heritage Harvest Festival

This past weekend we partook in the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  The festival is a celebration of gardening, sustainability, local food and the preservation of heritage plants – all things that we wholeheartedly advocate for on a daily basis. As you might imagine we were thrilled to be there, especially since this was the second outing for our recently acquired 1974 Citroen cheese truck.

To make a very long story short, we encountered automotive challenges during our morning ascent to Monticello.  Suffice it to say, we left an ample trail of transmission fluid and a massive cloud of white smoke in our wake (which may still be hanging over central Virginia).  The mechanical fracas managed to cause a fair share of chaos among festival organizers and other vendors (most of which were mired in the traffic jam our stalled out vehicle created). Continue reading

So…where have we been?

We're sorry to have been away for so long. Please accept our apology and this image of a hamster with flowers.

For those of you keeping score at home, Feast has been absent from the blogosphere since April 13th.  A variety of actual business factors contributed to the four-month radio silence, but rest assured that good old-fashioned laziness also played some part in our hiatus.  It’s a tad embarrassing to be the owners of a neglected blog*; therefore, we pledge to get back on track.

Starting today, we will once again provide regular blog posts from the center of the food universe at 416 West Main Street.  What’s that?  You’re wondering what we’ve been doing for the last 16 weeks?  That is a reasonable question and we owe you a reasonable answer. Here goes… Continue reading

Bucking the Trend(s)

The NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show wrapped up several weeks ago in San Francisco.  (You weren’t aware of this?  Shame, shame.)  Although Feast did not attend this year, I feel obligated to share comedic food and beverage trends for 2011 announced at the show.

The Top Five Food Trends at the Winter Fancy Food Show (as per a carefully selected group of trend-spotters that none of us at Feast were asked to join) are as follows:

1) Chocolate for Breakfast: Tea, Belgian waffles, granola and hot chocolate on a stick. [Aren’t we all fat enough? Is there any reason to start eating chocolate earlier in the day?  The idea of hot chocolate on a stick makes me absolutely giddy (and also a bit confused based on the laws of physics) but this trend crosses a line.] Continue reading

Hide the Pickle

On Sunday, I stumbled across a box of tattered Christmas knick-knacks while digging out holiday decorations in the attic. After a cursory scan, it appeared to be garden-variety yuletide trash and craft fair rejects that should have been jettisoned many years ago. As I further picked through Santa’s misfit refuse, one item caught my eye. Long, slender and metallic green, the ornament bore striking resemblance to a pickle. Not possible. Why the *%$#@ would anyone make a tree ornament shaped like a pickle? (Incidentally, among the least photogenic of all foods.)
Continue reading

Young Foodies Visit Feast!

It’s late summer and the heat has been smothering this week. But that’s no reason to avoid the kitchen, say nine Charlottesvillian girls and one adventurous math teacher.

Early this week, The Village School’s Italian Cooking Class visited Feast for a special tasting of some of Italy’s favorite flavors. Before trying to create menus themselves, says teacher “Mila” (her Italian name for the week), she wanted to have the girls at least taste Prosciutto and smell Gorgonzola. Continue reading