Tag Archives: sustainable agriculture

Sunday September 22 is National Eat Local Day -Local Chefs and Restaurants Unite

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Two savvy ladies from Chicago, Chef Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, IL and Cindy Kurman of Kurman Communications, Inc ., are launching a new holiday. 

National Eat Local Day

To be held annually on the Fall Equinox, which this year is on September 22.

They want to encourage restaurants and chefs to offer at least one locally sourced menu item.

Our hope is that leading chefs across the country can work together to raise awareness of the importance of supporting our local sustainable farms. We hope to increase the flow of local sustainable food to the restaurant tables across the country in order to protect our farm lands and to ensure their success so future generations have access,” said Stegner. 

Joining the two in their efforts are restaurateur Alice Waters and her chef Jérôme Waag at Chez Panesse (Berkeley, CA), Alison Price Becker at Alison Eighteen (New York City, NY), Stephanie Pearl Kimmel at Marché (Eugene OR), François de Mélogue at Figue Mediterranean (La Quinta, CA), Mark Grosz  at Oceanique (Evanston, IL), Paul Fehribach at Big Jones (Chicago, IL), Jamie Leeds at Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge (Washington, DC), Nora Pouillon at Restaurant Nora (Washington, DC), Norman Van Aken at Tuyo (Miami, FL), Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris at Prairie Grass Cafe (Northbrook, IL), and Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo (Chicago, IL). The list will continue to grow. For more information, please visit the website at www.nationaleatlocalday.com.

Restaurants participating in National Eat Local Day, and their featured menus for the day, are listed by state: 

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California

Figue

Figue Mediterranean – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22
Chef Franςois de Mélogue

47474 Washington St.
La Quinta, CA 92253
www.eatfigue.com
760-698-9040

Menu*
Diver Scallops, Piquillo Pepper Granite and Lime Crudo Mexican Diver Scallops drizzled with Kaffir Lime Ginger vinaigrette, Chocolate Pepper Granite, and Bautista Creek Finger Limes ($16)

*Figue Mediterranean’s full menu is primarily locally sourced

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“Growing up with French parents, I was instilled with the value of using local – whatever is the best – for ingredients in our meals. We were farm-to-table long before it became a cliché,” says François de Mélogue of Figue Mediterranean in La Quinta, CA.

List of local ingredients and sources:

Diver Scallops Piquillo Pepper Granite and Lime Crudo et
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Chez Panisse Laurels logo lo res

Chez Panisse Restaurant – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Saturday, September 21
Chef Alice Waters
Chef Jérôme Waag
1517 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
510.548.5525
www.chezpanisse.com

Prix Fixe Menu*
(Prix fixe, $100 per person not including tax, service and beverage)

Sheep’s-milk ricotta ravioli with basil and squash blossom
Grilled pastured duck breast with red wine sauce, fried sage, Chino Ranch green beans, and onion rings
Plum sherbet and raspberry ice cream meringata

*Chez Panisse’s full menu is 100% locally sourced

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“Chez Panisse and I are convinced that the best-tasting food is organically and locally grown and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound by people who are taking care of the land for future generations,” said Alice Waters.

List of local ingredients and sources:

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Florida

Tuyo logo

Tuyo – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Saturday, September 21
Chef Norman Van Aken
At the rooftop of Miami Culinary Institute
Miami Dade College
415 N.E. Second Ave.
Miami, FL
305-237-3200
http://tuyomiami.com

Menu

First Plate
Locally Gigged Hogfish Ceviche with Salsa of Life ($16)

Main Plate
Pan-Cooked Fillet of Key West Yellowtail on a “Belly” of Mashed Potatoes with Citrus Butter and Paradise Farm’s Malabar Spinach ($32)

Sweet Plate
Homestead Grown Guava Stuffed Donut Bites with Housemade Cajeta and Cream Cheese Ice Cream  ($10)

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
My son had me read a book that answers these questions in a wonderfully informed and poetic way. It is titled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and written by the well-known author Barbara Kingsolver. But in a nutshell it is community building, health insuring, flavor giving and…very valuable. It keeps the texture, language, idiosyncrasies and PERSONALITY of our nations distinct and ever intriguing!

List of local ingredients and sources:

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Illinois  

bigjones

Big Jones – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22 
Chef Paul Fehribach
5347 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
773-275-5725
www.bigjoneschicago.com

Menu  

Fried green tomatoes with baby lettuces, aioli and deviled egg puree ($12)

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
Buying locally sourced products is important as it’s more sustainable and tastes better.

List of local ingredients and sources:

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Oceanique

Oceanique – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Monday, September 23
Chef Mark Grosz
505 Main St.
Evanston, IL 60202
847-864-3435
www.oceanique.com  

Menu – A La Carte

Eggplant, Heirloom carrots and tomatoes, seasonal mushrooms, Tropea onions and a leek-basil broth ($23)
Fennel, Arugula, Tropea Onion and Peach Salad ($12)

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“Buying local is important because to use what’s in season provides the freshest and best flavors. It’s also important to support the local economy. We utilize local farmers markets and farms and plan our menus around what’s available. We don’t use produce out of season because the quality isn’t there and prices are higher,” says Mark Grosz, Oceanique in Evanston, IL

List of local ingredients and sources:

  • First Orchards – Eggplant, tomatoes and peaches
  • Nichols Farms – Heirloom carrots, mushrooms, Tropea onions, leeks and basil

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frontera-tompolobampo

Frontera Grill and Topolobampo – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22
Chef Rick Bayless
445 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
312-661-1434
www.fronteragrill.com

Menu – A La Carte

Frontera Grill  

Grill-Roasted Corn: From Three Sisters Garden & Nichols Farmstand.
Homemade sour cream, Anejo cheese & chile
OR
Serrano mayo, cilantro & fresh cheese ($5)
Chicken in Oaxacan Green Mole: Smoked Gunthorp chicken breast, Oaxacan green mole, local vegetables (chayote, tatume, corn), masa dumplings (chochoyotes), hoja santa. ($11)

Topolobampo  

Ensalada Clasica: Bayless Garden greens, La Nogalera walnut oil, fresh lime, toasted walnuts & chile threads ($11)
Borrego en Salsa Borracha : Crawford lamb three ways (grilled leg, slow-cooked shoulder Barbacoa, smoked sausage), Borracha salsa (pasilla, roasted garlic, pulque), dry-grilled oyster mushrooms, Crowder peas, fresh garnishes ($35)

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
Investing in our community, our staff, our customers, and the local family farmers who grow for us. Without these people we cannot be sustainable; we are not viable. Sustainability begins with the relationships we have developed with members of our community and it is fueled by their creativity and energy. Living in balance with our environment and the seasons. We all live off the land, even if we are not farmers or growers. It is essential for us to respect our relationships not only with the people who grow our food, but with the soil that nurtures it. Our aim is to serve flavorful, artisanal food grown responsibly by people we know. Running our restaurant in a financially responsible way. Without a commitment to our economic underpinnings we cannot continue to support local agriculture, nor maintain and grow our staff. In our restaurant, managers are committed stewards of their budgets. Together we work from month to month, and year to year, to sustain healthy, manageable growth.

List of local ingredients and sources:

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Prairie-Grass-Cafe

Prairie Grass Cafe – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22
Chef Sarah Stegner and Chef George Bumbar
is
601 Skokie Blvd.
Northbrook, IL 60062
847-205-4433
www.prairiegrasscafe.com

Menu – A La Carte

First Course
(choice of)
“Nichols Farm and Orchard” Heirloom Cherry Tomato and Bread Salad with Sweet Peppers, Cucumbers and Basil ($10)
Salad of Green and Wax Beans with “Three Sisters Garden” Pea Shoots, Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese and Fried Crispy Onions ($9)

Entrees
(choice of)
Homemade Lamb Sausage with Grilled Honey Glazed “Three Sister’s Garden” Heirloom Luxury Pumpkins and Crumbled “Capriole Farm” Goat Cheese, Sauteed Greens ($19)
Lake Superior Whitefish with Sauteed Local Potatoes and Heirloom Tomatoes Coulis ($21)

Dessert
Warm Plum Crumbles with “Three Sisters Garden” Oats and Crème Anglaise Sauce ($8.50)

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“We want to make sure that we have access to local food for future generations. It makes our restaurant that much better by offering the best tasting products that we could find,” said Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Cafe.

List of local ingredients and sources:

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New York

Alison Eighteen logo

Alison Eighteen – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Saturday, September 21
Chef Alison Price Becker
15 W. 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
212.366.1818
www.alisoneighteen.com

Menu to be posted shortly; check the National Eat Local Day website

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Oregon  

Marche logo

Marché – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22
Chef Stephanie Pearl Kimmel 2
96 E. 5th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
541.342.3612
http://www.marcherestaurant.com

Menu – A la carte*  

Roasted Chicken Breast lobster mushroom & tomato confit, savory beurre blanc & toasted farro ($29)
Wood Oven Roasted Salmon chanterelle, bacon, tomato, roasted potatoes, verjus& smoked salmon croûte ($29)
Seared Albacore Tuna blistered green beans, black garlic, rice cakes, sesame-scallion vinaigrette ($28)
Corn & Basil Soufflé roasted summer vegetables, braised greens & balsamic reduction ($23)
Smoked Pork Chop grilled peach, buttermilk-corn mashed potatoes & garlic chives ($28)
Lamb Duo grilled leg & sausage, ratatouille, demi-glace & cherry tomato chutney ($30)
Grilled Beef Tenderloin buttermilk fried onion, roasted vegetables & sherry-shallot demi-glace ($33)

 *Marche’s full menu is essentially locally sourced with the exception of lemons and olive oil which are not available in the region.

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“Local food is the foundation of what we do. Marché is about celebrating life and the bountiful Pacific Northwest with locally grown and gathered food, prepared with care and served in a lively and elegant atmosphere. We take our name for the French word for market – a word that describes not only our location in Eugene, Oregon’s bustling 5th Street Market, but also our philosophy of cooking. The menu is based on the foods you would find at a farmers market – fresh, seasonal and regional,” says Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, Marché in Eugene, OR.

List of local sources:
Laughing Stock Farm and the “fabulous” Paul Atkinson, Groundwork OrganicsLively OrganicsHorton RoadSweetleaf,Lively Organics and more

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Washington, DC  

Hanks-Oyster-Bar

Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Sunday, September 22
Chef Jamie Leeds

Dupont Circle
1624 Q St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
202.462.HANK (4265)

Old Town
1026 King Street
Alexandria VA 22314
703.739.HANK (4265)

Capitol Hill
633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington DC 20003
202.733.1971

Hanks Oyster Bar now accepts reservations for parties of six or more in the Yacht Room at our Dupont Circle location. You can also call ahead to have your name added to our waitlist 30 minutes before you arrive.

Menu  

Grilled Chesapeake Rockfish with peach/heirloom tomato relish on a bed of sautéed greens ($28).
Produce is from the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market ($28)

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Nora logo

Restaurant Nora – Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Saturday, September 21
Chef Nora Pouillon
Chef Todd Woods
2132 Florida Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
202.462.5143
www.noras.com

Menu
$69 for vegetarian option, $79 for meat option

1st Course
New Morning Farm Corn and Squash Bisque with Next Step Okra Relish, Cherry Tomato Confit
or
Lone Willow Farm Heirloom Tomatoes and Lakewood Farm Watermelon with Firefly Bûche Noire Cheese, Baby Arugula, Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

2nd Course
Maine Peekytoe Crab and Avocado Salad with Cilantro and Red Onion, Ancho Chili Emulsion, Crispy Tortillas
or
Sunnyside Poblano Pepper Stuffed With Cherry Glen Goat Cheese, Tomatillo Salsa Verde, Almond Crème Fraiche

3rd Course
Ayrshire Farm Grassfed Filet Mignon with Tree and Leaf Farm Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Sunnyside Patty Pan Squash, Pickled Tuscarora Shallots, Red Wine Jus
or
Next Step Produce Buckwheat Crepes and Locally Foraged Mushrooms with New Morning Farm Corn Soubise, Tuscarora Cherry Tomatoes, Basil from Our Garden, Shaved Pecorino Fiorno

4th Course
Roasted Toigo Peaches with Lancaster Honey Lavender Mascarpone, Rosemary Brittle
or
Sunnyside Blackberry Crustada with Nature By Nature Buttermilk Ice Cream

Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods?
“I’m committed to local certified organic food because I believe in having a healthy choice – where fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides and animals are raised without the use of hormones and antibiotics.”

List of local sources:

13 Ways To Help The Planet: Earth Day 2013

Brian Wiling and Steve Galdo co-founders of the Waste Not ProgramU.S. universities are adopting policies that reduce campus food waste and divert surplus waste for composting or food banks.  Brian Wilking and Steve Galdo co-founders of the Waste Not program at Pennsylvania State University which delivers food to the Erie City Mission (Behrend Magazine)
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As the world celebrates Earth Day, sustainable food and agriculture systems can play a big role in preserving the environment by helping to improve soil health, protecting biodiversity, and mitigating climate change.
 As eaters, from breakfast to lunch and dinner, we all can do our part to support systems that protect both human health and the planet.
This year Food Tank: The Food Think Tank is celebrating the ways everyone can protect the planet, on Earth Day, and every day this year.
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1. Eat more colors

The colors of fruits and vegetables are signs of nutritional content. A richly-colored red tomato has high levels of carotenoids such as lycopene, which the American Cancer Society reports can help prevent cancer, as well as heart disease. The relationship between nutrients and color is also true for other foods. Eggs that have brightly orange-colored yolks are also high in cancer-fighting carotenoids, and are more likely to be produced by healthier chickens.

2. Buy food with less packaging

Discarded packaging makes up around one-third of non-industrial solid waste in industrialized countries, with negative impacts on the climate, and air and water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s analysis of different packaging for tomatoes found that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) clamshell packaging increases tomatoes’ associated carbon emissions by 10 percent. The most effective way to limit the impact of packaging waste is to prevent it. Choosing foods with less packaging can also be better for our waistlines, since highly processed foods that are low in nutrients generally use more packaging than more healthful, less processed options.

3. Choose seasonal produce

Earth Day offers a great opportunity to bring more seasonal fruits and vegetables into diets. Many farmers markets, including the New York City Greenmarkets, offer guides about which products are in season. Locally sourced, seasonal products can also be found at major grocery stores. Another way to get seasonal foods is to sign up for a weekly CSA, which provides a mix of fresh, seasonal produce throughout the year. Other programs, such as Siren Fish Co.’s SeaSA in San Francisco, offer seasonal meats and seafood.  Here is Los Angeles, we have plenty of Farmers Markets that also support local business and farmers who “grow in season.”

4. Get in touch with agriculture

This time of year, many people are starting to plan vacations. A great way to skip the crowds, save money, and get both children and adults in touch with agriculture is to book a farm-stay through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). WWOOF runs networks in most countries around the world, offering individuals and families the opportunity to directly support small-scale family farmers. Participants spend a few days or weeks living with a host family and helping with tasks around the farm in exchange for free food and lodging.

5. Get creative in the kitchen

Shopping at farmers markets, which often have a wide selection of less-ordinary produce such as celeriac, sunchokes, or kohlrabi, can prevent “food ruts” by helping consumers try new foods. When looking for inspiration, many popular recipe blogs, such as smitten kitchen, allow users to search by ingredient, as well as season. Publications such as Diet for a Small Planet and The Boston Globe‘s new Sunday Supper and More e-cookbook series also offer tips on reusing leftovers to reduce food waste.

6. Invest in perennial crops

Perennial plants — plants that grow back every year — tend to hold water in soil more effectively than annuals and help prevent erosion. Their extensive roots also allow them to better access nutrients and water, reducing the need for artificial fertilizer. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that perennial prairie grasses are up to four times as water efficient as row crops such as corn and wheat.

7. Reclaim abandoned spaces

As populations continue to expand, especially in cities, reclaiming unused land and buildings for food production can help meet growing demand. One new model is The Plant, a former meatpacking plant in Chicago that has been converted into an indoor vertical farm. The Plant currently runs an aquaponics farm, growing plants without soil using waste from its manmade tilapia pools. It also offers shared kitchen space for small businesses, and other services.

8. Build local and global food communities

A great way to get involved in food and agriculture issues is with Slow Food International, an organization with more than 1,300 groups around the world called convivia. These groups support healthy, sustainable diets and traditional food cultures. In addition to local initiatives, Slow Food convivia also arrange regional and international events on important food and agriculture issues, such as Slow Food València’s recent conference on the influence of food in health and disease.

9. DIY

Many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) food projects are easy and fun. Turning old t-shirts into produce bags to save plastic, starting seeds in eggshells, which can then be crushed for transplanting into the soil, and DIY foods such as homemade oat or almond milk can all add a creative twist to healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Plus, they are lots of fun for families.

10. Cook in batches and freeze for later

Planning meals in advance can help reduce stress around cooking. It also helps reduce food waste, which is a big problem in industrialized countries A great way to reduce waste and make planning easy is to cook large batches of a single meal, such as soups or curries, which can be frozen and reused on short notice later in the week. Preparing large amounts of food at once saves energy during cooking, while freezing helps prevent nutrient loss in fruits and vegetables. For those days when there is more time to cook, tools such as Love Food Hate Waste menu planner shopping list can help organize grocery trips.

11. Brighten your outlook

At the recent Warwick Economics Summit in February, Warwick University Economics Professor Dr. Andrew Oswald presented his research on health and happiness, focusing on the link between happiness and consumption of fruits and vegetables. His team of researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables directly improves a person’s mental well-being, separate from other variables such as income level and how much meat a person ate. This research is supported by a similar study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found a link between patients’ blood-level of carotenoids, compounds commonly found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and their feelings of optimism.

12. Use crop rotation

Crop rotation is an important way to preserve soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and protect against crop diseases and pests. In the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, agronomists at Agronorte have developed new varieties of rice and dry beans that are well suited to the region’s tropical climate. By incorporating rice and beans into their yearly harvests, local soybean farmers can reduce the spread of soybean rust and nematodes, two of the biggest threats to their crops. The system also improves soil quality and provides jobs at times when soy and corn are not harvested.

13. Embrace conviviality around the table

Talking and laughing while sharing food is a uniquely human experience. Conviviality, joyful and friendly interaction, is found at markets and around the dinner table, and it supports healthy relationships and healthy bodies. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition considers convivial food culture one of the most critical aspects of food and agriculture, alongside health, hunger alleviation, and sustainable development. Researchers from Cornell University and the University of Minnesota agree, reporting that the reported benefits of family dinners on children’s mental health and achievement levels depend on engagement with their parents at these meals.

Standing up for the future of people and the planet is important on Earth Day and every day.