Greenfest 2008

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Greenfest 2008
By Cima Star








An estimated 2,000 visitors crowded into a corner of Trustees Garden for the Second Annual Greenfest. The festival, held to generate interest in the Green movement and to promote Green practices in Savannah, featured all-day music by Trances Arc, AWOL, Soap, and the Eric Culberson Blues Band.

Intriguing tents and exhibits presented hues of green, from the Holistic Tent, encompassing Yoga, Tai-Chi, Chi-Gong, Reiki and massage, to AWOL Goon Squad, an all day event devoted to collecting old computers to refurbish for low-income families. Recycle Your Corks was another all-day event, Green Building in Savannah was presented by Ecobuilders, and a host of others.

Since over here at SavannahBest, we’re not only all for sustainability and going green, we’re also confirmed foodies, we were particularly fascinated by the Greenfest Culinary Challenge starring the two Matts, Matt Cohen chef and owner of The New South Café and Matt Roher, chef and owner of Cha Bella.

The Matts each prepared a menu of dishes served at their respective restaurants:

Matt Cohen (The New South Café):

Barbequed Brisket Crepe with creamy coleslaw
Wilted Collard Green Salad with Bacon & Vidalia Onion dressing
Caramelized onion, goat cheese & cornbread sandwich
Quail stuffed with Andouille & Thompson Farm Sausages
Twice Baked, double stuffed sweet potato with cranberry & Dijon compote
Bananas Foster Cheesecake flan with pecan brittle & caramelized bananas

Matt Roher “Iron Chef Savannah” (Cha Bella)

Sliced Heirloom ‘Brandy Wine’ tomatoes, Gulf Coast Lump Crab & Local Farm Pea salad
Organic Chefs Salad: Seasonal lettuce blend, roasted tomato, farm herb pesto, prosciutto de Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano & soft boiled egg
Carolina Gold “Broken Rice” Risotto with baby mustard greens, seared North Carolina day boat scallops, and Riverview farms braised pork belly
Local Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Bread Pudding with spiced Georgia pecan and sugar cane syrup, compound butter

The two Matts were not chosen for their matching names, but for the fact that organizers believe their two restaurants are Savannah’s greenest, using the most local, organic products. The contest was close! We watched, salivating, stomachs growling as the judges tested, tasted and clearly relished all this deliciousness.

Finally, the winner was announced: Matt Roher of Cha Bella!

Trustees Garden proves to be a particularly appropriate place for this festival, since it originated in 1733 as an experimental farm where peaches, rice, cotton, grapes, flax, hemp, indigo, olives and the mulberry trees essential to silk culture, were grown. Silk was then expected to be a major cash crop of Savannah, but it never came to pass. Sadly, the farm was closed in 1748. The area went through many incarnations over the years, until in 2004 Charles H. Morris acquired 6.3 acres of it, including some historic buildings on the north and south ends of the property and six acres of open land.

Photos by Jack Star
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