Hunter’s Harvest dinner set

Stogbuchners will donate all proceeds to two local non-profits

For many, the idea of choosing venison from a menu would not be their first choice. From the Old French, venison is meat of large game, particularly deer or boar. If you prefer the Latin – venatio – the word derives from the hunt or specifically meat from the hunt.

In other words, it’s a game animal.

Hazel River Inn owners Peter and Karen Stogbuchner will be offering the community a menu with lots of venison. But, if you know how to prepare it, like Peter does, you are in for a gourmet treat. And, you’ll not only be tasting perhaps a new culinary offering, you will be helping two of Culpeper’s most noteworthy non-profits – The Culpeper Food Closet and Manna Ministry.

All profits from the upcoming dinner will be divided equally between the two organizations.

“We’ve been trying to do this for three years,” said Karen Stogbuchner. “Then we ran into these wonderful people who have helped make it happen.”

Those wonderful folks are Ed and Marilyn Dunphy who have acted as organizers partnering the Stogbuchners with Dick and Barbara Rosica at the Food Closet and as well as Manna Ministry.

“We’ve just been coordinating,” said Dunphy who rallied support from CFC Farm and Home Center to print flyers and sponsor letters.

“One of the reasons we like this is reinforcing the connection between farmers and food,” said Dunphy who expects that, in addition to helping the community, the Stogbuchners will be providing some culinary education.

“It’s interesting,” mused Dunphy, “ sort of the difference between the Old World and the New World. In feudal times, for Europeans, they weren’t allowed to hunt without permission. For us, everyone has access…while we are familiar with hunting deer…many people are not familiar with eating venison.

Speaking of venison.

Peter’s main ingredient comes from the work of Dick Rosica at the Food Closet.

“We’ve actually had very little of it this year,” said Rosica adding that while some of their clients don’t like the taste, they have others who ask for it.

Rosica chuckled. “I haven’t had roses in two years…the deer have eaten them all.”

But Peter’s request for 70 lbs. of venison roasts has been met.

Like Dunphy, Rosica mused about a course he took years ago at Penn State. There he learned an interesting tidbit that has stayed with him for years. “We learned that every part of any living animal is edible with the exception of the liver of a polar bear.”

According to Karen Stogbuchner, the original plan was to have a hunters game dinner with a variety of game offerings but ultimately they decided to focus on venison.

“Peter’s really good with venison,” said Karen adding that in Austria (his native country) venison is considered a delicacy.

All in the pot

Peter and Karen Stogbuchner are donating all of the food for the event.

“We’re so excited to see how much everyone is pitching in,” said Karen. In addition to their wait staff who have all donated their time, others have come out of the woodwork to help.

Particularly after the holidays, there is always a shortage of funds and donations for programs like the Food Closet and Manna Ministry.

The Stogbuchners are hoping that their Hunter’s Harvest Dinner fundraiser will help fill that gap.

The Hazel River Inn will be closed on Feb. 11 for this special event which will feature two seatings along with entertainment from a singer/guitarist.

100 percent of the proceeds will be divided between the Culpeper Food Closet and Manna Ministry.

“It’s our way of giving back,” said Karen Stogbuchner, “we are so excited to do this.”

The Hazel River Inn Hunter’s Harvest dinner is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 11 with a snow date of Wednesday, Feb. 12.

If you go

Hazel River Inn
195 E. Davis Street
Culpeper
(540) 825-7148)

Hunter’s Harvest Dinner
Tuesday, Feb. 11
Two seatings offered at 6 and 8 p.m.
Tickets are $50 per person (gratuity not included)
Pre-paid reservations can be made at the Hazel River Inn Restaurant, Thursdays through Mondays, from noon to 9 p.m. Space is limited so reserve your spot early.

Hunters’ Harvest Menu
Venison Sausage and Cheddar Cheese Empanadas
Wild Mushroom Bisque
Venison Pot Roast, Slow-Cooked to perfection.
Served with Braised Apple,
Red Cabbage, Green Beans,
German-Style Potato Pancakes.
Roasted Pear and Blackberry Strudel with
House-Made Caramel Sauce

Who does this help?

The Culpeper Food Closet’s mission is to help our neighbors in the Culpeper community, by “Sharing what God has given, with glad and generous hearts.” The Culpeper Food Closet is an outreach mission of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. With community support, the Food Closet provides food and some personal care products to 80-100 Culpeper County families weekly who are in need. The Culpeper Food Closet is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at 115 N. East Street.

Manna Ministry seeks to share nourishment, compassion, and hope in Christ’s name to all who enter. Manna Ministry serves a meal to anyone in need on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the Culpeper Presbyterian Church Fellowship located at Locust Street and Main from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Each day 80- 100 meals are served.