March is very much a filler month for most. While January stretches on forever and the celebration of the holidays die down, we beg for February to come along. Then suddenly its March and the wind is knocking everything over and making the cold penetrate your clothes too much for your liking. What is there to look forward to in March? Nibblins is the answer for those of you who are still wondering! They’ve got cooking classes running consistently with plenty of ideas and ingredients to keep you warm with foodie knowledge. Add on top of that their incredibly fun events like Whipped and you’ll be wishing March lasted a little longer! At Nibblins, you can count on authentic fun and food.
The official launch of Whipped was a whirlwind of an evening, with ingredients being thrown at two competing chefs that they then prepared, à la Food Network’s Chopped. Plates were auctioned off, food was enjoyed, people connected with each other’s foodie passions, and ultimately a good time was had by everyone.
We got a chance to chat with Nibblins Kitchen founder and owner Susan Dolinar in the aftermath of what was ‘Whipped’ round 1.
“Today I’m just trying to catch up,” she admits when I ask her about the day’s agenda. It was a good day for catching up, too; overcast and very chilly with no promise of sunshine in the forecast. Susan is a busy woman with a calendar chock-full of events – constantly – so being able to grab her, if only for a few minutes, was a lucky feat of accomplishment!
How was the turnout?
“I thought it was very good for a first time event,” Susan begins. “We were at the maximum capacity that we were planning on for the night, so that was good. It’s a fun event… its what people like.” Roughly 40 people were there to see what the chefs would cook up, and Susan estimates that number to almost double by the finale in April.
Tell me more about it.
“Each day that the event happens, all sales made that day – a percent of the proceeds will go to the fundraiser as well. Each chef makes four plates. Three go to the judges, and one gets auctioned off to a member of the audience. The other thing that we do to let people know is that we have another chef that learns the ingredients and makes a recipe with the secret ingredients for people to taste. So when you’re attending, you don’t get to taste what the chefs make, but you do get to taste something prepared with the secret ingredients.”
What inspired you to put this together?
“I wanted to create a fun event for the community, and, you know, the Chopped TV show has been very, very popular. That was really our inspiration for it. We thought that it’d be great to feature our local chefs doing this.”
“Live is always better. My family are all baseball fans – I mean my grandfather went to 51 consecutive World Series. I much prefer watching baseball live than I do on TV.” And Chopped is no different. There’s no edited screen time, no commercials. When people are able to come together and see every minute detail and technique that these chefs are using, the experience is so much more authentic. That’s what food here in the Shenandoah Valley is all about. Authenticity has a way of cultivating genuine people to a cause.
Winchester Whipped: Competition 2
Join us for a fun evening as two local chefs battle and “chop” the competition. Winchester Whipped is a community event benefiting the Valley Health Cancer Center. Two local chefs on two different nights will compete in a Chopped style competition with the winners battling to the bitter end in the third event. Each chef will be required to create an appetizer and a dessert made with mystery basket ingredients and the Nibblins pantry items. As a viewer, you’ll not only benefit a good cause but you’ll also have the pleasure of samples, wine tastings, a good fun.
Cheryl Ash of Sweet NOLAs
Here’s a little info on the cause you’ll be contributing to:
Gifts to the Cancer Center through the Winchester Medical Center Foundation directly touch local patients’ lives. Thanks to the support of the community through a successful $10 million capital campaign, the new Cancer Center was opened in August 2016.
Since opening, a new Board certified specialist in oncology nutrition is now available full time. The Integrative Care suite inside the Cancer Center offers convenient access to free Reiki sessions, Expressive Arts class, aromatherapy workshops and a meditation room for the mind, body and soul. More than 200 patients visit daily for appointments – 200 people seeking care in a most anxious time. Thanks to the support of so many, the Valley Health Cancer Center is a warm, open space that welcomes it’s visitors with natural light and hope to keep their journey inspired. By supporting the Cancer Center, you are ensuring the ongoing access to supportive care for so many.
The crew at Nibblins are delighted with the money they’ve made from just the first night – most of which will go to Winchester’s Cancer Center. Want to be a part of the next upcoming Whipped event? Grab the details here!
We’d like to thank Susan for her time and dedication to not only us here at Taste of Blue Ridge and Go Blue Ridge Travel, but to the community.