Support Connecticuts Farmers and Restaurants During Farm to Chef Week August 29 to September 4
Kick-off event on Saturday, August 28 with celebrity chef Chrissy Tracey
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) announces that 2021 Farm-to-Chef Week will run from Sunday, August 29 through Saturday, September 4. This special week encourages culinary professionals to use Connecticut Grown ingredients in new ways on their menus while educating residents and visitors about the diversity of farm products grown and raised in Connecticut.
“Connecticut’s farmers can always be counted on to deliver high quality, fresh food – from oysters in the Long Island Sound and milk year-round to Connecticut Grown fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, and honey. Farm-to-Chef Week celebrates that through the creative vision of Connecticut chefs,” said Bryan P. Hurlburt, Agriculture Commissioner. “I encourage Connecticut’s residents to visit a participating dining venue, enjoy a delicious meal, and support our local businesses – both farmers and eateries – who have weathered significant challenges but always deliver the best.”
Diners are encouraged to visit www.CTFarmtoChef.com to find a listing of participating dining venues located throughout the state. Click on a location to view their menu and see which farms they source ingredients from.
“We are really excited to participate in Farm-to-Chef Week again, especially after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eli Hawli, owner of Marketplace Hospitality, which has signed up seven dining venues to participate this year. “This past year has highlighted the importance of local businesses working together. As a chef-driven organization using fresh CT Grown ingredients to create a menu is a unique experience for both our culinary experts and diners.”
Chris Pacheco, owner of Seacoast Mushrooms in Stonington, is a Connecticut farmer growing gourmet mushrooms sold at farmers’ markets and dozens of restaurants throughout the state. “Collectively, we talk about supporting local farms and Connecticut Grown,” he says. “Farm-to-Chef is a very real example of local businesses supporting each other in the community. It happens every day! We work together to produce and prepare food to feed the communities that helped to build our food-focused businesses. I find it inspiring to work with great chefs and restaurateur to ensure consumers have access to fresh, local foods. In my mind, the pandemic put CT GROWN in bold letters. Over the past year CT farms and CT chefs fed a lot of people through open air farmers’ markets and chef prepared, ready-to-eat, at-home meals. I would say that our farmer/chef relationship has strengthened this past year – it became very personal for all of us – as we worked together to ensure our local communities were fed.”
This year an in-person kickoff will take place on Saturday, August 28 at City Seed’s Wooster Square Farmers’ Market at Conte West Hills Middle School in New Haven from 9 am to 1 pm. The event will include chef demonstrations with Christian “Chrissy” Tracey as well as Chef Poreyah of Vegan Ahava.
Tracey is a vegan chef for Bon Appetit Magazine and runs a company called Vegan Vibes Meal Prep in Connecticut. She is a CT 40 Under 40 recipient and contributes her excess resources as a business owner to providing low-income families with plant-based meals in New Haven County. Poreyah is from Southern Judea In Israel and went through City Seed’s Food Business Entrepreneurship program. Tracey and Poreyah will shop the farmers’ market and prepare dishes using CT Grown ingredients. In addition to the regular vendors at the market, special guests New England Sea Farms and Bell’s Shellfish will be there this week selling kelp and shellfish as well. Be sure to “Follow” our Facebook page for updates on this event.
Understanding the challenges that many restaurants faced over the past year due to COVID-19 and staffing shortages, sponsorships of Farm-to-Chef Week made it possible for a limited number of venues to sign up at no cost. Special thanks to the following organizations for their support of this initiative, including Highland Park Market, Farm Credit East, CT Milk Promotion Board, Bozzuto’s, Sardilli, FreshPoint, Skyeline Studios, LLC, and CitySeed.
DoAg launched the Farm-to-Chef Program in 2006 to help connect foodservice professionals with Connecticut Grown farm products. There is no cost to either farmers or chefs to join. Farm-to-Chef Week was started by DoAg in 2010 as part of its year-round Farm-to-Chef Program.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.