The Richmond dining community responds to the pandemic with creativity and conviction

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Chef James Lum holds a pork chop from Autumn Olive Farms. Photo via Get Porked

While we can’t currently dine out, the food community remains resilient in their efforts to reach diners and stay afloat. From blue crabs via a James Beard Award-nominated chef to a pasture raised pork share, the Richmond food community is embracing the get-it-done mentality to move forward during a time of challenging uncertainty. 

Sharktooth Seafood

Brittanny Anderson, chef and co-owner of Brenner Pass and Metzger Bar & Butchery grew up near the Northern Neck. She hails from a long line of oystermen and crabbers. In early April, Anderson partnered with her Uncle Larry to sling fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crabs by the bushels through Sharktooth Seafood. Available in half and full bushels, the bright-clawed, olive green shell beauties are delivered every Saturday, less than 24 hours after leaving the water. A reliable and welcomed sign of warm weather’s arrival, soft-shell crabs made their first appearance at Sharktooth earlier this week. 

Get Porked

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Grisette co-owner Donnie Glass and chef James Lum hold pork from Autumn Olive Farms that will be prepped for Richmond’s Get Porked pork share. Photo via Get Porked

Grisette owners Donnie and Megan Glass have been creating a buzz at their Church Hill, bouchon-inspired eatery during the pandemic. The duo introduced “Suns Out Buns Out” a warm weather, no frills, pro-fun, weekend pop-up in March. They flipped 300 sidewalk burgers and dished out brats and brews to-go. Proceeds and tips were split between their 10-person staff. During a kolache sale, for every sweet or savory pastry sold, the restaurant donated one to healthcare workers. And recently, Glass partnered with former JM Stock Provisions butcher-owner James Lum to launch Get Porked, Richmond’s first bimonthly hog share featuring local purveyors like Autumn Olive Farms. For $69 folks get a butcher’s choice of fresh cuts, sausage and charcuterie. The fellas guarantee, “Everything will be tasty AF.”

Restaurant Adarra

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Restaurant Adarra co-owner, Randall Doetzer, checks out wine bottles that will be delivered to customers.

As much as Restaurant Adarra is known for the basque-tinged delicacies like shaved-to-order Iberico or a plate of pintos, wine (specifically organic, biodynamic and natural) is the heartbeat of this Jackson Ward respite. The husband-and-wife level two sommeliers, Lyne and Randall Doetzer, debuted a bi-weekly wine delivery service boasting hand selected bottles, tasting notes, and digits. The duo loves to talk wine, and are transparent about creating a nonjudgemental space for discussion. Each Thursday, the Doetzers deliver a trio of bottles for $65, with all tips donated to their furloughed staff. 

The Holli Fund

What do a women-led trio composed of a farmer, associate publisher and podcast host have in common? All three formed the Holli Fund. Spearheaded by Linda Trainum of Autumn Olive Farms, Susan Winiecki of Richmond Magazine and Robey Martin of Eat it Virginia, the non-profit serendipitously launched their website and online platform one week prior to the pandemic shutting down the restaurant scene. The trio formed the fund in memory of longtime food writer and local dining industry champion Hollister Lindley. The Holli Fund offers financial grants to food service workers facing economic crisis, paying for bills such as rent or car payments. By the end of April, the organization had collected over $200,000 in donations from 3,000-plus supporters.

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