By Chris Bavender
Photos by Stan Gurka
If you’re searching for a unique dining experience look no further than the south alley located next to the Noblesville Visitors Center. For the second year, Noblesville Main Street served up Meals from the Market - a farm-to-table experience with local music and art - sponsored by Peterson Architecture and Community Health Network.
“Meals from the Market is a catered dinner for up to 50 guests activating the alley adjacent to our office space,” said Chris Owens, Main Street CEO. “The event uses a private chef and his team to source meat and produce from our Farmers Market vendors to be used at each event. Additionally, guests have the opportunity to sample local craft beer and wine at each event.”
The idea was born out of a desire to evolve a Thursday market held in previous years and create another point of connection with Main Street. This was the fifth consecutive year programming was held in the South Alley.
“We are part of a larger group seeking to activate alley space around Noblesville enhancing connections to our historic downtown,” Owens said. “These events are great opportunities for the community to learn more about all that our organization provides our community from programming to volunteer opportunities as well as our funding structure.”
The hope is to connect the community not only to Noblesville Main Street, but to each other. Meals from the Market was so popular in 2016, Owens said, that the decision was made to expand from four events to eight this year - starting in early June and running through the end of Sept.
“Our Board and I looked at ways to expand or grow the events while maintaining some of the quaint charm as well,” he said. “By increasing the number of events, but keeping the maximum attendance the same, we feel we have effectively achieved this.”
Chef Adam Gushwa of Chef Adam’s Kitchen in Hamilton Town Center - and one of the featured vendors at the Noblesville Farmers Market - was the creative mind behind the meal at each event.
“The meal is really up to the direction of Chef Adam based on what is locally available, in season and what he can uniquely craft from his experience,” Owens said. “We met and talked about the vision for the second year of the event and I think he saw the unique nature of this opportunity.”
The evening starts with beer and wine samples, along with appetizers and features local musicians to enhance the ambiance of the experience.
“Weather permitting, our table for 50 lines the south alley featuring local flowers arranged by Shauna Metzger from Lil’ Bloomers. Generally, we open the dinner with general announcements that I make and then give Chef Adam the opportunity to talk about the cuisine that evening,” Owens said. “Once the meal is served, Chef is available for our guests to ask questions and learn more about the vendors from whom he sourced ingredients, his technique and more.”
Once the meal is finished, diners are encouraged to stay downtown and explore all it has to offer.
“We always encourage support of other local downtown businesses,” Owens said. “Our event is limited in time with the hope of connecting folks from greater Noblesville to our downtown.”
Owens hopes guests come away from the meal not only with a great experience, but having met new neighbors and friends.
“Not focusing on political differences or squabbling over issues, but rather focusing on something in common we enjoy, food,” he said. “I hope that others who aren’t fully aware of the volume of events we offer find a great awareness and it fosters a sense to become involved and help support us as a 501(c)(3). Ultimately, we hope to create greater connections in our community and food is wonderful way to do that.”
As for the 2018 Meals from the Market, Owens said the only changes he could foresee might be continuing to expand the frequency of the evenings or start the evening with a larger sampling event.
Main Street Meals from the Market 2018 schedule of dinners will be determined in late fall. Tickets are $45 each and available for purchase online only. For more information visit www.noblesvillemainstreet.org.