Food foragers, hops harvests, and other news from the restaurant scene


File photo. File photo.

Former OXO chef forages for food 

Some of you may remember OXO, the upscale Water Street restaurant known for its elaborate menu and wild, late-night events like the 2008 “bondage party” that featured women in cages with whips in their hands. It closed six years ago and the location has since been filled by Escafé, but OXO’s impact is still being felt in the culinary world as one of the former chefs is making a big spalsh a couple hours north of us.

Jeremiah Langhorne grew up in the Charlottesville area, graduated from Albemarle High School, and got his first taste of behind-the-scenes fine dining under chef John Haywood in the kitchen at OXO. After a stint in South Carolina at world famous McCrady’s restaurant, where he was chef de cuisine, Langhorne is in the process of starting his own restaurant in Washington, D.C. The concept behind his new place? Foraging, and it has The Washington Post so excited it’s tracking his journey in a multi-piece series  that launched July 11 with a piece breathlessly titled “Meet Jeremiah Langhorne: Will he be the Mid-Atlantic’s answer to Rene Redzepi?” a reference to the renowned Danish chef whose Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, has topped Restaurant Magazine’s best restaurant in the world list in four of the past five years. In fact, there’s a good reason to ask that question: Langhorne took a year away from McCrady’s to stage for Redzepi at Noma.

Langhorne likes to get his hands a little dirty when it comes to gathering ingredients to cook with, an affinity he developed while working in Copenhagen. It’s one thing to bring hand-picked regional ingredients like blue crab and rockfish into the kitchen, the blog pointed out. But Langhorne wants to build his menu around the leaves, flowers, fish, herbs, and other ingredients that he really has to dig for, that you won’t find anywhere else.

As of July 11 Langhorne had not yet signed a lease, but follow along at for updates as he brings foraging-based dining to D.C. Maybe we can convince him to come back down here with some of his findings—or perhaps a road trip to D.C. for some fine dining is in order.

Hops harvest  

Can’t get enough of all things beer-related? Thinking about growing your own hops for your homebrews? Or are you just looking for a free meal? Either way, stop by Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton on Wednesday, August 13, between 11am and 5pm to help out with the annual hop harvesting. Spend two hours filling up a basket with leaves from those giant hops plants growing next to the patio while sipping on a Full Nelson, and then sit down for a free meal as a thank you. If you can’t make it on Wednesday, sister brewery Blue Mountain Barrel House in Arrington is hosting a similar hop-picking event on Saturday, August 16.

Chow for children 

It’s almost back-to-school season, and you know what that means: back to shoveling down dinner between soccer practice and piano recitals, and scrambling to throw lunches together before bolting out to the bus stop in the mornings. If you’re looking for new, kid-friendly lunch and dinner ideas, check out the Kids Fest at Whole Foods on Thursday, August 14. The six-hour event begins at 10am, and will feature a make-your-own-snack station, lunch-packing suggestions, pre-made shopping lists, mini meal classes on the hour, and of course food samples for everybody. Bring the whole family and get excited for lunch ideas beyond pb&j and carrot sticks.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at


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