Party 12/20 | Harvest Ball

By Angela Rulli, Catering Specialist

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Year after year, Harvest Ball sticks out in my mind as one of my favorite events.  It benefits Local Matters, an organization that is so inspiring to me.

Founded in 2008, Local Matters began in part as a response to a system that makes it difficult for communities in need to get consistent access to healthful, affordable foods and the realization that many lack the skills necessary to feed their families on a budget. These factors have greatly influenced the exorbitant rates of chronic disease, resulting in the prediction by experts that the current generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

At this event, we get the opportunity to support a great cause, stretch our creative "legs", and learn some new things at the same time. 

We support a great cause and help spread their message.

I have an eleven year old son and he already has a love of cooking in our kitchen.  So when a nine year old boy spoke at this year’s event, he really touched to my heart.  First of all, it’s inspiring that a boy his age is so fearless when addressing a room of 350 adults.  He made me laugh when he called out his mother in front of all of our guests for her love of sweets.  I was impressed when he spoke of his improved knife skills in the kitchen, and then I was a bit emotional when he described their time together as a family in the Local Matters Kitchen.  What a great memory -  that he was able to learn while cooking healthy food and then spend time with his family at the table.  As a mom who eats out or picks up food for her family way too often, this message hit really close to home.

We are creative and the Local Matters team appreciates and trusts that creativity, allowing the event to be the best it can be. 

After working together for 6 years, the Local Matters team and I have developed an amazing, trusting relationship.  After sharing their feelings regarding event flow, they allow my team at Together & Company to curate a unique experience by letting us harness our own creative talents.  Our in-house décor artist creates the most interesting pieces to display, rolling with any idea we give her.  She especially loves creating fun pieces for the Harvest Ball.  Chef Kevin gets his own culinary freedom when using delicious, local ingredients to build a new menu each year.  This year, those local twists included The Butcher & Grocer, Curio, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and OYO.  Boozy shakes certainly kept the party flowing later and who doesn’t like a Falafel Waffle. 

We learn new things and improve at what we do.  

I volunteered with my team in a Local Matters Garden earlier this year where I tasted a Peppadew pepper for the first time.  The sweet flavor inspired a new menu item – Baba Ganoushe Stuffed Peppadew – which I served at my last event.  Local Matters supports and teaches our community and their garden is such a great place to gather with your family or work family while helping those around us. 


VIP Cocktail Reception

BRUSSELS SPROUTS SKEWER / balsamic reduction
OHIO CORN FRITTERS / chili lime sea salt

Passed Appetizers

MUSHROOM DUXELLE CROSTINI / grilled gretna cheese
BRISKET RAGOUT / in a wonton cup, dressed with mildly spicy arugula
CAESAR SALAD BITES / romaine tossed with caesar dressing in a parmesan cup


SHAKE SHACK / choice of beef burger with herbed chevre on Brioche or a veggie burger with chimichurri.  Served with root vegetable chips.  Boozy Shakes include Bourbon Buckeye and OYO Vodka Vanilla Honey
SMOKED TACO BAR / choice of pork carnitas with salsa verde or sweet potato, plaintain and black bean with mango salsa
FALAFEL WAFFLE / served with green chutney, chared onion sauce and pickled vegetables

Hors D'oeuvre Display

OHIO CHICKEN MEATBALL / sweet, spicy sesame ginger sauce