Fairfield University to take part next week in 1st Annual Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration Week, a state Department of Agriculture program



Image: GardenConnecticut grown heirloom tomatoes, spaghetti squash, eggplant, potatoes, apples and peaches will turn up on Fairfield University dining hall menus the week of September 26 when the university takes part in the 1st Annual Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration Week, a Connecticut Department of Agriculture program celebrating the vast array of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients harvested by farms throughout the state. The event will feature outstanding, fresh ingredients from some of the best farms in Connecticut, and it will serve as an opportunity for Fairfield to share the harvest from its four-month-old campus garden.

Fairfield's Farm-to-Chef celebration will be highlighted by a luncheon - open to the campus community and the public on Wednesday, September 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Barone Campus Center dining hall. Tickets are $8. Reservations are required. If you are interested in attending the Farm to Chef lunch, please call (203) 254-4055, option 2.

"This is the biggest thing Sodexo has ever done on campus," said Christopher F. Bosze '78, Fairfield's resident dining manager. "It is great to see the staff get so excited. It is wonderful timing for this event, especially considering that it is the inaugural year of the Fairfield garden."

The menu will include corn on the cob, zucchini with heirloom tomatoes, grilled Portabella sandwiches, egg & cheese sandwiches, Belgian waffles with whipped cream, vegetarian kabobs with fingerling roasted potatoes and peach cobbler. Local farms supplying ingredients to Fairfield include Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington (syrup and honey); Cecarelli Farms in Northford (tomatoes); Baggott Farms in East Windsor (butternut squash); Fuller Farms in Windsor (potatoes); and Blue Hills Orchard in Wallingford (apples), to name just a handful.  

A new food program at Fairfield complements the goals of Farm-to-Chef, an ongoing program that helps the public locate restaurants, institutions, and other dining facilities that serve foods prepared with Connecticut grown ingredients. The University recently started showcasing food grown at the campus garden on dining hall and food court menus. For instance, students, faculty and staff tasted freshly picked basil from the garden when it turned up in Caprese sandwiches this week. 'Garden Night,' a new Thursday night staple, has featured cilantro on herb-grilled chicken and orzo salad made with zucchinis and tomatoes. "This is a great opportunity for the student body to see food grown by their peers," Bosze said. "I think the students working on the garden, like Dana August, are our rock stars."

More than 80 of Connecticut­'s finest chefs will partner with local farms and vineyards to cook and serve spectacular farm fresh cuisine as part of the program next week. Bloodroot Vegetarian Restaurant in Bridgeport and Catch a Health Habit Café in Fairfield are just a couple of the participating businesses.

For a complete list, visit www.CTGrown.gov and CTFarmToChefNetwork.typepad.com.

Image: Fairfield's campus garden will supply food for the Farm-to-Chef celebration at the University. Pictured are Dr. Tod Osier, associate professor of biology, and Dana August '11, who helped build and plant the garden.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 23, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 54