Veggielution‘s annual spring celebration, Avant Garden, returns on Friday with local chefs creating dishes from produce harvested on the urban farm, craft brews and, new for this year, San Jose Made vendors.

Featuring dishes created by Ryan Summers from Good Karma Vegan Cafe, Ryan McTighe from Handheld Catering and Christina Grove of Tina’s Homemade Treats, the community meal is expected to draw up to 700 people to San Jose’s Armory building on April 19. “I’m excited to taste all the awesome food that the chefs are creating, because we have some really talented chefs on board,” says Amie Frisch, executive director and co-founder of Veggielution. “In the past, the food has always been a great highlight.”

The chefs will serve small plates of various dishes, including vegan pra ram, pulled pork sliders with white beans, and dino kale crustini and candied pecan crumble. Ninkasi Brewing and Lagunitas Brewing Co. will supply the craft brews. Food tickets are $3, and each drink and dish costs one to two tickets.

Frisch says she wanted to create an event that would bring together the idea of food and art in the community. “SJ Made’s mission, as far as engaging and supporting local foods, is really aligned with this event, which is capturing the local community that we have here,” Frisch says. “We thought it was a great fit.” More than 20 SJ Made vendors will participate at the event, offering jewelry, clothing and other handmade goods. “We are there to add support so other people who follow SJ Made can see what they do, which is something great here in San Jose,” says Marie Millares, SJ Made co-founder.

All of the proceeds from ticket sales at the event will go to support Veggielution and its programs, which promote access to healthy food and education about healthy food for the community. “We are trying to raise awareness about our farm, programs and the importance of healthy eating and food access for low-income communities,” Frisch says. “San Jose is a very forward thinking place, and it’s an exciting place to be because there is so much support for what we’re doing. We want to capture and channel that energy.”

Despite the logistics involved with hosting some 700 people and feeding many of them, Frisch says she has a lot of fun setting up this event and is excited to see how many people will come and support their organization. “We just love doing it, and it’s so good to see people have such a great time and building a relationship with each other and with us,” she affirms.

Avant Garden
Friday, April 19; 7-10pm; $10/$12 The Armory, 240 N. Second St., San Jose