Brian T. Olszewski, The Catholic Virginian
The RVA French Food Festival will mark its 10th anniversary, Friday, April 27, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, April 28, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., on the grounds of the Little Sisters of the Poor, 1503 Michaels Road, Henrico.
According to Corrine Waldrop, special events and communications coordinator for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Virginia, the festival is the Little Sisters’ biggest fundraiser, “grossing more than $250,000 the last few years.”
“The money stays in Richmond. What we raise helps care for the residents and keeps the home going,” said Waldrop, who noted that the Page Auto Group continues as a “grand event sponsor” for the festival.
Master Chef Paul Elbling, who has been part of the event since its inception, will headline this year’s event, which will also include four other chefs and culinary arts students from Stratford University.
Among those chefs is Mike Ledesma, whose Perch restaurant is scheduled to open this spring in Richmond.
“He does a French Asian fusion dish,” Waldrop said. “We had people suggest it to us that we should look into this.”
In addition to a variety of entrees, the festival will feature other French fare, e.g., crepes, beignets, croissants and cream puffs.
“We also have a big wine tent,” Waldrop said. “We’re changing up the layout and making a wine garden where people can go and hang out.”
With the addition of a smaller stage, the festival will feature music on both ends of the grounds. It will also have an area with children’s activities.
Waldrop said festival attendance increases each year.
“There is a large number of people bringing in so many people from the community,” she said. “They hear ‘food festival’ and they want to come.”
For the Little Sisters of the Poor, the event is about more than food and fundraising.
“This is an educational opportunity for us to get our name out there as much as we can, spread our mission, and let them know we are here,” Waldrop said.
Editor’s note: Further information is available at www.rvafrench foodfestival.com.