Taste Buds, Awaken
Shire City Sanctuary serves plant-based community dinners every Friday––June 2 is Indonesian
Mango curry and corn bakwan fried in batter with hot and sweet chili sauce; Bubur Biji Ketapang, a sweet potato dumpling; Gado-Gado, steamed young beets and turnips with peanut sauce—Mariana Bergtold, chef at Shire City Sanctuary, will serve a full Indonesian meal there on June 2.
In the last six months, the sanctuary has introduced a community dinner on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. to overlap with the city’s First Fridays Artswalk. Each meal is entirely plant-based, made from scratch in the sanctuary’s commercial kitchen.
Bergtold wants to invite people to relax and enjoy foods new to them. Many recent guests are not vegan or vegetarian, simply curious, and many of them are coming back. “I love it,” she says. “The challenge is to take plant matter and take meat eaters and make them happy.’”
She and her sous chef, Iris Kol, are also taste-testing barbecue sauces for the July dinner: collard greens, potato salad, corn on the cob, watermelon, hush puppies, and more. They will come to farmers markets in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, Bergtold says, with savories and beverages. Her community dinner menus in June and July include fruit juices, spiced coconut milk, green tea, tart-cherry sweet tea, and non-alcoholic mint juleps. The dinners cost $25 per person; it is possible to volunteer in exchange.
Tickets must be bought in advance. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shirecitysanctuary.org.