(DOSWELL, Feb. 24, 2017)—The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, together with Pasture Restaurant in Richmond, is launching a series of farm-to-fork dinners called “Barn Appetit.”

The quarterly series will promote locally sourced foods and craft beverages and the artisans who produce them. It also will feature narrated tours of Secretariat’s birthplace, with proceeds benefitting the restoration of historic barns where the legendary Triple Crown champion was born and raised.

Jason Alley, owner of Pasture and one of Richmond’s most acclaimed chefs, is designing the menus and working with local chefs and farms. He is the founder of “Off-Broad Appetit,” a fundraising event held the night before Broad Appetit, a food festival on Broad Street that celebrates its 10th year in June.

The first Barn Appetit dinner will be held March 24 at the Secretariat Birthday Celebration during the Virginia Horse Festival at The Meadow Event Park. Guests can enjoy a “dine-around” format in Meadow Hall, sampling and learning about the different dishes as Alley comments on them.

“Barn Appetit is a totally fresh new tasting and tourism experience,” Alley explained. “Our menus will be eclectic and seasonal and bring the best of Virginia’s vibrant food scene to the pastoral setting of this historic landmark.”

Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, vice president of operations at The Meadow Event Park, said “We are very excited about Barn Appetit as an innovative way to serve up both agriculture and history. The Meadow Event Park, as the home of Secretariat and the State Fair of Virginia, is the perfect venue for bringing ‘foodies’ to the farm.”

She noted that staff are planning to convert an existing garden on the grounds to a chef’s garden where herbs and vegetables will be grown for the Barn Appetit dinners. There also are tentative plans to stage a Barn Appetit experience at the State Fair this fall.

For the first Barn Appetit on March 24, guests will be able to enjoy the meal with members of the Secretariat racing team: Charlie Davis, Secretariat’s exercise rider; Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery, who owned Secretariat; and Otto Thorwarth, who played jockey Ron Turcotte in the Disney film Secretariat.

Tickets for Barn Appetit are available at VirginiaHorseFestival.com. Guests may choose to attend Barn Appetit from 7-10 p.m. or purchase a festival ticket to enjoy the Virginia Horse Festival and Secretariat birthday activities during the day as well. Richmond Magazine, an original sponsor of Broad Appetit, also is supporting Barn Appetit.

Tours of Secretariat’s birthplace are offered year-round through MeadowEventPark.com.

Media: Contact Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager, at 804­ -363­-1683.


The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, Va., is the birthplace of Secretariat and home to the State Fair of Virginia. The Meadow is owned by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which is committed to preserving Virginia’s rich agricultural heritage and ensuring that the property thrives as a regional event and equine venue.