Fairfield University garden and area farms to supply food for Farm-to-Chef celebration

Fairfield University garden and area farms to supply food for Farm-to-Chef celebration

Image: Campus garden What: Locally grown heirloom tomatoes, squash, carrots, rosemary, potatoes and apples are among the dozens of items that will be featured on Fairfield University menus the week of September 19 when the University takes part in the 2nd Annual Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration. A Connecticut Department of Agriculture program, Farm-to-Chef celebrates the vast array of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients harvested by farms throughout the state. The event will serve as an opportunity for the University's dining services (Sodexo) to feature outstanding, fresh ingredients from some of the best farms in Connecticut, as well as from the campus garden. "The vegetables were planted there for a late harvest so that we would have them as fresh as possible throughout September and even October," said Christopher F. Bosze, Fairfield's resident dining manager.

When : The University's Farm-to-Chef Celebration will be highlighted by a luncheon - open to the public as well as campus community - on Wednesday, September 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $12. If you are interested in attending the Farm to Chef lunch, please call (203) 254-4055, option 2.

Where: The Barone Campus Center, main dining hall.

Why: The event helps to teach attendees what eating locally means - or rather hyper-locally. The campus garden is less than a mile from the Barone Campus Center, where chefs use its' shallots, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and other vegetables in recipes. "Although all of the fruit and vegetables that we receive from our produce vendor is 'local' or 'Connecticut grown' when the growing season permits, produce just doesn't get any more local than being picked from our very own backyard," said Bosze. "People will also be surprised to see all the wonderful products grown right here in the state, not a far drive from Fairfield." Farms supplying ingredients to Fairfield include Cecarelli Farms, Christoforo, White Eagle Farm, Defrancesco & Son Farm, Connecticut Currant's, and Belltown Hill Orchards. More than 70 of Connecticut's finest chefs will partner with local farms and vineyards to cook and serve spectacular farm fresh cuisine in restaurants and schools across the state as part of Farm-to-Chef.

Background: An outdoor classroom, the one-year-old campus garden is tended to by an array of University constituents, including sophomores living in the Environment Life Residential College. It is overseen by Dr. Jen Klug, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Tod Osier, associate professor of biology. This summer, campus chefs suggested gardeners plant garlic, shallots and hot peppers. "Shallots are an integral part of sauce making, and peppers are very versatile and grow well in this area," said Bosze. "They can be used for salsas, sauces, vegetable medleys and as an edible food garnish... The knowledge and experience gained by anyone who participates in the garden with Dr. Osier and Dr. Klug is invaluable."

For more information, visit http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=2778&q=330850 .

Image: Fairfield University's campus garden will supply food for the weeklong Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration at the University. Connecticut farms will also contribute a vast array of items.

Posted On: 09-16-2011 11:09 AM

Volume: 44 Number: 42