Best Buddies take educational tour of Rivendale Farms |
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Best Buddies take educational tour of Rivendale Farms

Mary Pickels

In advance of its annual Best Buddies TasteBuds event, which pairs Pittsburgh area chefs with a Buddy sous chef, 14 Buddies spent Oct. 5 at Rivendale Farms for an educational tour of the Bulger, Washington County, farm.

Rivendale Farms’ executive chef, Daniele Brenci, will be among the chefs helping their Buddies prepare a meal for the Nov. 18 event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Grand Concourse.

The tour’s goal is to underline the importance of healthy eating and learning where one’s food comes from during a fun, hands-on experience learning the ins and outs of a local, working farm, according to a release.

“We hope that seeing and experiencing a working farm, in person, will add another dimension to the TasteBuds event and underline the importance of local, fresh food. Following the journey from planting, harvesting and taking care (of) our land and, in turn, the environment, through to seeing local produce prepared with their chef partners at the TasteBuds event, will make the plates they produce even more meaningful,” adds Christine Grady, Rivendale Farms’ general manager.

The Buddies enjoyed meeting the cows that produce the dairy used in Rivendale Farms ice cream, and visiting the greenhouse where they could pick and taste produce. Opportunities included tasting ginger leaves, touching and smelling rosemary and harvesting and tasting ground cherries.

Ready to cook

“We are so excited for our buddies to be able to visit Rivendale Farms. It’s an amazing opportunity for our buddies to learn more about where the food they are preparing comes from,” says Samantha Civitate, Best Buddies Pittsburgh area director.

During the fourth annual TasteBuds event, guests can enjoy live entertainment along with a variety of local culinary favorites and an open bar. They will be able to bid on silent and live auction items, all of which benefit Best Buddies Pennsylvania’s Friendship programs for individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a release states.

Last year’s event raised a record $120,000 for the nonprofit, with the program raising more than $335,000 to date to fund more than 20 buddy programs since 2016.

Tickets are $125.


Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Rivendale executive chef Daniele Brenci demonstrates how to smell ginger leaves as Emily Zipparo listens intently.
Chris Carpellotti offers hay to one of the Highlander cattle calves during a Rivendale Farms tour for the Pittsburgh chapter of Best Buddies.
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