Featured dinners promote farmer-restaurant relationships
By Hakyung Chung | Thu, 10/18/2012 - 3:06pm
Research, Education, Action, and Policy (REAP) Food Group organized the effort and called the three-day event Local Harvest: Taste of the Town. Ten restaurants participated on Oct. 2-4.
“Taste of the Town is an event put on by REAP Food Group where our Buy Fresh Buy Local partner restaurants feature in-house specials and events that center on local foods,” said Theresa Feiner, Buy Fresh, Buy Local program manager. “A portion of the proceeds go to REAP's Buy Fresh Buy Local program.”
Though the event runs parallel to the larger “go-local” movement, Feiner said it more clearly delivers support to local farmers and businesses.
“Where we choose to spend our money can really make a difference,” Feiner said. “We all go out to eat to celebrate and have fun with friends and family - why not support a restaurant that is committed to buying ingredients from local farmers and food businesses at the same time?”
Participating restaurants work with local food producers not only during the event but throughout the year as well.
“If we can possibly source it locally, we will,” said Talish Barrow, the general Manager for Graze restaurant. Graze takes employees on farm field trips, Barrow said, in order to build relationships between staff and their food suppliers.
“I come here quite often,” said Graze customer Mary Hwang during Taste of the Town. “You can really tell that they use fresh ingredients and put that extra effort to make things perfect.”
Feiner said numbers aren't in yet on how much was raised through Taste of the Town, though she hopes to have the total by the end of the month.
REAP Food Group's next event is Pie Palooza, to be held at Goodman Community Center on Nov. 4.
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