Food and Drink

Enjoy a variety of culinary, mixology, edible history and healthy living offerings to satisfy your palate and spark your imagination.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content.  Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.  Please note Covid-19 related requirements for in-person classes.  All guidelines are subject to change.

Class Schedule December 2021 – April 2022

Intro to Gut Health | January 13 VIRTUAL

Your digestive system is home to over 70% of your immune system! So it’s crucial to keep your gut in tip-top shape in order to maintain good health. We will discuss the difference between good and bad bacteria and explore how each affects everything from your energy level to your mood. We’ll focus on how to strengthen your digestion, create better eating habits, and introducing fermented foods, herbal medicine, and other supportive foods into your diet.  Instructor: Cheryl Paswater


Coffee: The Story Behind Your Cup | January 18 VIRTUAL

Get warm and cozy during this evening virtual class as you learn the story behind coffee, America’s favorite hot beverage, with plant expert and foodie Mark Ragland. Explore the exotic plants and the history behind your daily cup of Joe along with brewing methods and how to make the most delicious cup.


Garden to Glass: Cocktails with Winter Citrus and Herbs | January 27 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon, owner of Salt and Acid Beverage Consulting, as she demonstrates how to masterfully combine winter citrus and herbs into three delicious craft cocktails. She’ll highlight seasonal flavors in a Paloma using ruby grapefruit and rosemary, a Bee’s Knees with Meyer lemon and thyme, and a Blood Orange Boulevardier showcasing blood orange and sage.


Exotic and Decadent Chocolate and Vanilla | February 3 VIRTUAL

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with plant expert and foodie Mark Ragland as he explores the exciting and exotic history of chocolate and vanilla in this evening virtual class. Learn about the plants behind these delicious and decadent ingredients as well as how to incorporate them into delectable savory and sweet treats.


Lightning in a Bottle: Tracing the History of Soft Drinks From the Apothecary’s Cabinet to Modern Day Cola Wars | February 15 VIRTUAL

Since ancient times humans have been experimenting to improve the taste, appearance, safety, and benefits of water. The result has been thousands of new beverages, some that enjoyed a brief moment en vogue, while others rose and remain in a position of global dominance. In this webinar Justin Fornal covers some of history’s most beloved, maligned and unusual soft drinks. He explores their plant connections and traces popular everyday beverages back to their mysterious origins in ancient medicine.


The History is on the Plate: Deconstructing African American Food History | February 23 VIRTUAL

Beginning with a traditional African American plate, this presentation will focus on eight plants important to African American cuisine: rice, corn, peanuts, okra, watermelon, chili peppers, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes. Using traditional stories, illustrations, and history, Dr. Harris will discuss their connections to and importance in African American history and culture.  Instructor: Dr. Jessica B. Harris


Culinary Evening: Spring Fling with Chef Anne | March 22 IN-PERSON

She’s back! Join Restaurant Associate’s Executive Chef Anne Maury Haapala in this celebratory gathering as she showcases the delights of seasonal spring produce in festive flavorful dishes. Chef Anne’s hour and a half culinary demonstration highlights ways in which the home chef can incorporate what is fresh, local and in-season into mains and sides that are unique, elegant and easier to execute.


Garden to Glass: Spring Shrubs | March 31 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon, known in the RVA culinary industry for her shrubs and high acid cocktails, as she demonstrates how to make two stellar spring shrubs. Using cold and hot methods, Beth demonstrates how to create strawberry-rhubarb and blueberry-ginger shrubs which she’ll then utilize in use to pair with spirits for some exciting seasonal cocktails.


Lunchtime Lecture: Tea – A 5,000 Year Tradition | April 13 IN-PERSON

One amazing plant in over 3,000 varieties produces the second most consumed beverage on Earth – tea. Steeped in history, lore and tradition, tea is again becoming America’s favorite beverage. Taste the difference as we explore how that single leaf, depending on where it’s grown, picked and processed, provides an endless selection. Learn how to make the perfect cup of tea and how to grow your own plant.  Instructor: Mark Ragland


Garden to Glass: Anything But Gin Botanical Cocktails | April 21 IN-PERSON

Gin is a natural pairing in botanical cocktails, but local mixologist Beth Dixon wants to change things up and take on the challenge of creating botanical cocktails with anything but gin. Join Beth as she creates three exciting craft cocktails to bring the garden to your glass in an Elder-Fashioned using St. Germain and rye whiskey, the Bothan highlighting chamomile infused tequila, and a Singani Mojito.


Paint Night: Spring Bouquet | April 28 IN-PERSON

Spend an evening at the Garden enjoying wine and nibbles while creating your own work of botanical art under the step-by-step guidance of local artist Laura Flournoy. Perfect for an evening out with friends!

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