Tag Archives: Events

FRIENDS OF THE CAFE DINNER: ROB MCDANIEL

FRIENDS OF THE CAFE DINNER: ROB MCDANIEL

My initial introduction to up-and-coming Alabama chef Rob McDaniel came through my son, Zach. Years ago, Zach was traveling home from a Doo-Nanny celebration and stopped for brunch at a restaurant along Lake Martin in south Alabama. The unimposing atmosphere and spectacular meal he found at the SpringHouse restaurant had him hooked. He raved for weeks about his meal—and said that he wanted to return there someday to work and study with the executive chef, Rob. (And about a year later, he did.) Since that time, Chef Rob has become a friend to both our immediate family and to the Alabama Chanin family. In fact, we hosted a One-Day Workshop at Springhouse a few years ago.

Rob is a graduate of Auburn University, and honed his culinary skills at the New England Culinary Institute. He has worked alongside Chris Hastings at Hot and Hot Fish Club, and with the folks at Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ. As a sous chef, Rob learned to apply his culinary know-how to southern food and its methodology. In 2009, he became executive chef at SpringHouse and began to create his own southern food story. Rob has been named a James Beard award semifinalist twice, and in 2014 SpringHouse was named one of the Best 100 Restaurants in the South by Southern Living magazine.

FRIENDS OF THE CAFE: ROB MCDANIEL

Be it food or fashion, we share similar views on sustainability, supporting local economies, and the art of taking things slow. We also share a love for the good things happening at the Southern Foodways Alliance. Rob will be creating the menu for our next “Friends of the Café” Piggy Bank Dinner at The Factory on August 27, benefitting the SFA. The dinner is also serving as the kick-off for Billy Reid’s annual Shindig here in the Shoals.

The menu for the evening includes field pea fritters, tomato gazpacho, grilled okra and eggplant, and Chilton county peaches. Needless to say, we are excited to kick off our dinner series once again.

We have had an overwhelming response, and the dinner is at capacity. To be added to the wait list, call +1.256.760.1090. First come, first serve. We will contact you if there is an opening.

For more information, visit our Events page.

ALABAMA CHANIN – MAKESHIFT CONVERSATION @ SAN FRANCISCO

MAKESHIFT @ SAN FRANCISCO

Makeshift is a series of events, talks, workshops, and gatherings that invite a dynamic group of participants to explore the ways in which the fashion, art, and design worlds are inextricably linked to the world of craft and DIY, and how each of these worlds elevates the others.

In its fourth year, Makeshift conversations create an intersection where we can explore, discuss, and celebrate the role of local production, handmade, and craft/DIY in fashion and design as a way to empower individuals, businesses, and communities.

We continue to expand the ideas that were born from our first Makeshift event in 2012 to create a global conversation among artists, designers, and makers. Each year, panelists and participants share their stories and experiences involving collaborative projects and making within their industries. And in 2013, we introduced a method to facilitate the conversation: guests were invited to express their thoughts, literally or conceptually, using an organic cotton tote bag from Alabama Chanin as a blank canvas. A variety of materials were also provided to design, decorate, and customize each bag.

ALABAMA CHANIN – MAKESHIFT CONVERSATION @ SAN FRANCISCO

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ALABAMA CHANIN: ALABAMA ON ALABAMA

ALABAMA ON ALABAMA

The Alabama Chanin, Heath Ceramics, and Boiler Room teams have been working together over the past few months in preparation for our show in San Francisco, which opens tomorrow evening. Needless to say, we are very excited. The show, Alabama on Alabama, is the fourth ever exhibition in Heath Ceramics’ new event space, the Boiler Room. Heath Ceramics opened the Boiler Room last year as a place of discovery, inspiration, and exploration—bringing together the unexpected, hard-to-define worlds of art, design, and craft. Those realms are explored through collections, shows, events, and pop-ups. We have to admit that ours fits the bill perfectly and are honored to be included.

Alabama on Alabama is a month-long journey into the soul of the modern South. Natalie’s work spearheads the exhibit, which also includes works by Butch Anthony, known for his ‘intertwangled” paintings and creations using found objects, and materials and works on paper by artist (and longtime Butch Anthony collaborator) Mr. John Henry Toney. Alabama on Alabama also showcases the work of our dear friend and photographer, Rinne Allen.

ALABAMA CHANIN: ALABAMA ON ALABAMA

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ALABAMA CHANIN – THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.22.2015 – 6.27.2015

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.22.2015 – 6.27.2015

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 22 – Saturday, June 27:

Beginning this Friday, Natalie and our workshop team will be in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains for a Classic Sewing Weekend at Blackberry Farm. This workshop includes all materials necessary to create your own Alabama Chanin project, incredible meals prepared onsite, and stunning scenery. For reservations and pricing, please contact Blackberry Farm at (865) 984-8166 or Ashley at aalderman (at) blackberryfarm.com.

While you’re enjoying your weekend away at Blackberry Farm, stay an extra day for our Mother/Daughter One Day Sewing Retreat. This one-day workshop is suited for beginners and experienced sewers alike, and guests will work with Natalie and her daughter Maggie to create a beautiful DIY project. For reservations and pricing, please contact Blackberry Farm at (865) 984-8166 or Ashley at aalderman (at) blackberryfarm.com.

STORE
Be sure to grab one (or two) of our essential A. Chanin V-Neck Tanks in one of our newest colors: Peacock or Apple. Just in time for the Fourth of July.

Please remember that Alabama Chanin will be closed Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

STORE HOURS
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy a new menu every day.

Be sure to join us on Saturdays for Brunch featuring seasonal choices that highlight products from local and regional farms and purveyors.

Also don’t forget to take a look in our cooler—stocked with homemade ready-to-go items like our homemade pimento cheese.

We offer freshly baked whole cakes as well. Our cakes are made from scratch, fresh from the oven. Please provide 24 hours’ notice when placing an order.

Custom catering is now available for all events and occasions. Work directly with our head chef, Zach Chanin, and the Alabama Chanin team to create a menu tailored to your needs.

CAFÉ HOURS:
Monday – Saturday, 11:00am – 2:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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ALABAMA CHANIN – JONES VALLEY TEACHING FARM GATHER BRUNCH

JONES VALLEY TEACHING FARM GATHER BRUNCH

Last Sunday afternoon, we hosted a brunch—part of our Friends of the Café | Makeshift Dinner Series—to benefit Jones Valley Teaching Farm, an organization that works with students and within schools to create and supplement healthy food curriculum. Jones Valley’s Good School Food program encourages students to buy into the concept of “good food” by learning about where it comes from and how it can benefit their families and communities—beginning in early childhood through high school graduation.

This year, Jones Valley took a unique approach to fundraising; as part of an initiative called Gather, twenty-two restaurants and individuals hosted dinners on Saturday, May 16, with all ticket sales benefiting the farm. The following Sunday, Alabama Chanin hosted the very first Gather Brunch to wrap up the weekend’s festivities.

ALABAMA CHANIN – JONES VALLEY TEACHING FARM GATHER BRUNCH

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ALABAMA CHANIN – INSPIRATION: MAY + SWATCH OF THE MONTH

MAY + SWATCH OF THE MONTH

I am happy to greet May, partly because April came “as advertised”—dropping buckets of rain—but also because May is filled with so many good things. So many, in fact, that I might feel differently by month’s end, but for now I am ready. There are workshops, both at home and afar. Maggie finishes school at the end of the month, which (in her mind) means summer has begun and it’s time for a backyard barbecue. (May is, after all, National Barbecue Month.)

Here is what the schedule looks like for the rest of the month:

May 10: Mother’s Day (the second Sunday of May). We are hosting our first-ever Mother’s Day Brunch at the Factory Café. Seating available at 10:00 am and 12:00 pm, purchase tickets here.

May 11: On Design: In the Kitchen + Biscuits @ The Factory

May 14: One-Day Studio Stenciling + Pattern Design Workshop @ The Factory. Find more information and register here.

May 15 – 17: Classic Studio Weekend Workshop here @ The Factory.

May 17: Sunday Brunch: Pies + Casseroles, a Celebration of the Southern Oven—a Makeshift | Friends of the Café fundraiser for Jones Valley Teaching Farm featuring acclaimed pastry chefs (and all-around amazing women) Angie Mosier and Lisa Donovan. Seating is limited, so purchase yours today.

May 20: Stay up late for David Letterman’s final Late Show.

May 21: Two-Hour Sewing Workshop and Book Signing at LF8 in NYC.

May 25: Memorial Day—in remembrance of those who died in service to our country. Many in our community still refer to this day as Decoration Day and spend time picnicking and cleaning or decorating memorial plots and monuments.

May 26: National Biscuit Day. While this is celebrated daily in many Southern kitchens, it is nice to know that the mighty biscuit has its own day to shine.

May 28: Last day of the school year for Maggie.

Somehow, in the middle of all this madness, I have to find time to transplant my tomatoes and okra, and tend the rest of the garden. Wish me luck.

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TWO-HOUR WORKSHOP @ LF8, NYC

EVENTS: A LOOK AHEAD

Join our mailing list here to receive information on upcoming workshops, events at The Factory, and away. You can also update your current subscription to receive certain mailings. Here’s a glance at our upcoming Events mailer:

TWO-HOUR SEWING @ LF8, NYC (+ A BOOK SIGNING WITH NATALIE)
Join Natalie for a Two-Hour Sewing Workshop at lf8 in New York’s East Village.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Choose your session:
10:00am – 12:00pm or
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Cost: $185
Learn more and register here.
There is limited availability—so be sure to sign-up soon. Contact workshops@alabamachanin.com for more information and a selection of projects. 

Natalie will also be on hand to sign her newest book, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns.
4:00pm – 6:00pm
This event is free and open to the general public.
Buy a copy in store or bring by your already purchased copy.

SUNDAY BRUNCHES

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ALABAMA CHANIN – MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS @ BLACKBERRY FARM

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS @ BLACKBERRY FARM

I have extolled the virtues of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, many times. It’s a place of calm, and deliciousness, and of fellowship. The land and the people create a singular sense of place that is joyous and memorable. There really is no place in the world that feels quite like the Smoky Mountains—as artists and musicians have tried to express for hundreds of years.

After the very first Weekend Workshop at Blackberry Farm, I promised myself that I would continue the event for years to come. I am honored that the farm will be hosting our second (now annual) Classic Sewing Weekend, June 26 – 28.

As part of that event, we are also offering our first workshop specially tailored for mothers (or any special mentor) and daughters: Alabama Chanin’s Mother/Daughter One-Day Sewing Retreat. Over the years, we have delighted in watching mothers and daughters and families work together around sewing tables at our workshops. We have been lucky to see multiple generations of women collaborate on a simple swatch or a custom wedding gown.

ALABAMA CHANIN – MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS @ BLACKBERRY FARM

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ALABAMA CHANIN – FRIENDS OF THE CAFÉ: LISA DONOVAN + ANGIE MOSIER

FRIENDS OF THE CAFÉ: LISA DONOVAN + ANGIE MOSIER

Sometimes when you meet a kindred spirit, you feel that connection immediately. It’s safe to say that I felt that bond when I first met Angie Mosier a dozen (or so) years ago. She laughs in a way that draws you in immediately—you just have to know what she’s laughing at. She also throws a mean party and anyone who has ever been in attendance knows what a real good time looks (and sounds and tastes) like. She is Southern in so many ways—she can cook, bake, and mix cocktails; she can spin an engaging tale; she has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Southern food, but she is no wilting flower.

I was lucky enough to collaborate with Angie on the second book in the Alabama Studio Series, Alabama Studio Style. She leant recipes, guidance, food styling efforts, and all-around support. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I couldn’t have written that book without her. Angie is a talented writer, photographer, stylist, and cook in her own right. She documents food, but also the people behind the food—the ones who keep our Southern food traditions alive.

ALABAMA CHANIN – FRIENDS OF THE CAFÉ: LISA DONOVAN + ANGIE MOSIER

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HISTORY OF BRUNCH (+ SUNDAYS)

HISTORY OF BRUNCH (+ SATURDAYS)

Brunch has become such a widely adopted part of the American culinary experience and like so many food traditions, its existence cannot be nailed down to one exact moment. There was no year B.B. (before brunch) and no A.B. (after brunch) but food historians and brunch experts believe that the meal originated in Great Britain’s hunting culture. Large, multi-course breakfasts were prepared for sizeable hunting parties and included pork, eggs, fruit, pastries, and other hearty foods. However, it is possible to pin down the origin of the word “brunch”, which is obviously a combination of the words “breakfast” and “lunch.” It was first printed in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article by Guy Beringer titled, “Brunch: A Plea.” In the article, Beringer argued against heavy, post-church Sunday meals, in favor of a lighter meal during the late morning hours—one that encouraged a cocktail or two. ”Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Beringer wrote. ”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

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