CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Lifestyle

August 21, 2013

Cullman native Clif Holt to host Farm-to-Fork dinner

All the flavors of the South, even the South of France, come to mind when you mention Birmingham’s Little Savannah restaurant.

Owners Clif and Maureen Holt, both Southern born and bred, spent a year exploring, eating and drinking their way through France. They absorbed much of the country’s love for freshly grown fruits, vegetables, artisan cheeses and wines.

When the couple, each of whom had previous experience in the food service industry, decided to open their own restaurant in 2003, they knew that they wanted to become known for their use of fresh, locally grown foods. Today, ten years later, that’s just what people think of in conjunction with Little Savannah.

The rich flavors of farm grown eggs with saffron yolks yield wonderful dishes, the crisp green lettuces and ripe red tomatoes for Little Savannah’s salads are what makes their restaurant such a delightful place to dine!

Their journey has culminated in an explosion of regional southern cuisine. They love using all kinds of fresh, clean, locally grown produce because there really is a difference in serving fresh as opposed to canned or frozen foods.

Clif developed the menu while Maureen came up with the cocktail and wine list. Each compliments the other. “We always bounce ideas off of each other,” Maureen explained.

The ambiance of Little Savannah is also reminiscent of the Southern roots from which they came. Reclaimed church pews and even a pulpit from an old church give the restaurant a charm that is missing in many upscale eateries.

Maureen came from a family of nine children. Her parents, who came from Pennsylvania, cooked hardy dinners for them every night.

Clif, originally from right here in Cullman, son of Jean and Dodd Holt, grew up eating farm fresh food, too.

This weekend, the Holts will bring a taste of Little Savannah to Cullman. “We’ve done food demonstrations at the Festhalle Market but we have never served a formal, elegant meal here like the upcoming Farm-to-Fork dinner,” said an excited Maureen.

“We are looking forward to serving locally grown foods to the very people who are responsible for growing it!” she exclaimed.

The Holts are passionate about where their food comes from, and are committed to passing that knowledge along to their customers and to the world. “All this wonderful food starts with a seed,” said Maureen. “Meeting the people who planted those seeds and grow all this food for us is very important. We have a relationship with the farmers who provide food for our restaurant. Everyone should know where their food comes from.

“If the Food Network would get some of the chefs off of the shows and introduce some of the farmers who grow the food, people would have a much better understanding of what is going into their bodies,” she said.

The Holts feel responsible for seeing to it that the word gets out there — know what you are eating, know your farmers.

The Farm Y’All Festival kicks off with a formal dinner Friday evening, Aug. 23. The festival begins the following day with games, contests, great food, including fried pies and homemade ice cream, cooking demonstrations, and the weighing-in of the giant pumpkins. Come out and join the fun.

For more details, visit www.farmyall.com or contact the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce at 256-734-0454.

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