CT Chefs Spring Workshop

Monday, May 21, 2007 is the date for the next Farm-to-Chef workshop.  Our second chefs’ workshop promises to be even better than the first! 

Starting at the town dock in Stonington, we will have a refresher on fresh CT Seafood.  You will meet with some of our finest fishermen and aquaculturists, who will teach you about their amazing profession and the incredible food they produce.

Scheduled topics include lobster, fin fish, shellfish, sea scallops, and HACCP/sanitation.  Whether or not you came to last fall’s workshop, there will be plenty to see and learn during these sessions.  We are planning more Q+A time during each session to allow additional participation from all attendees.

From there, we will take a bus to Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm in Lyme, CT, where you will enjoy a delicious CT Grown lunch before attending two fascinating demonstrations on cheesemaking.  Beaver Brook’s cheeses have received national acclaim and are always in very high demand.

Afterward, we will tour beautiful Beaver Brook farm.  Among other things, we will see the sheep that produce the milk, cheese, wool, and meat that have made Sankow’s famous.

We will take a comfortable bus ride back to Stonington, during which we will have an opportunity to discuss and reflect upon the day’s experiences.

This workshop is sponsored by the CT Department of Agriculture Farm-to-Chef Program and is offered to professional CT chefs free of charge.  Space is limited, however, and registration by May 9 is required. 

Please forward this information to any CT chefs you know who may be interested.  For a registration form or additional information, please contact Linda at 860-713-2558 or

CT Farm-to-Chef Program on the Web

The Farm-to-Chef Program is at long last on the web!  It resides on the CT Department of Agriculture’s website and is designed to be a resource for you, the culinary professional, as well as for members of the general public who want to learn where they can go to eat great CT Grown food.

We are always seeking more restaurants, institutions, and other dining facilities to be listed on our site.  If you or someone you know is serving CT Grown food and would like to let people know, please contact Linda at 860-713-2558 or so we can add you to our website.

We also are continually updating our producers/wholesalers listings.  If you are purchasing CT Grown from someone not on our list, please let us know so we can give them the credit they deserve!

You can access the Farm-to-Chef Program from the CT Department of Agriculture’s home page, and then click on the Farm-to-Chef link on the right sidebar under “Featured Links.” 

Improving Distribution of CT Grown

One of the challenges in the Farm-to-Chef Program is the process of getting the fresh CT Grown food you want from the farm or sea to your kitchen.  Many of our producers are small farmers, who simply do not have the resources to provide comprehensive, consistent, and convenient delivery to your door.

We are actively working to improve the distribution channel so it is easier for you to get fresh CT Grown food. 

We need your help!  Please ask your current suppliers to carry CT Grown products.  It’s all about supply and demand, and if you help to increase demand, your supplier will want to increase their supply.  Please feel free to have your supplier contact us so we can help them locate the products you want.

Breaking News: The Fresh Chef is a new company opening May 1, 2007.  The Fresh Chef specializes in delivery of CT Grown products to local restaurants.  For more information, please contact Mary Beth at 860-633-1699.

CT Grown Media Campaign 2007

The CT Department of Agriculture has contracted Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications to launch an unprecedented advertising and media campaign to promote CT Grown in 2007.  The campaign will officially kick off in May and will run through the fall.

Look for television and radio advertisements, as well as bus signage and increased press, all celebrating CT Grown products.

The campaign aims to heighten consumer awareness of the many benefits of choosing local foods, and to increase demand for these CT Grown products.

CT Grown Marketing Assistance

The CT Department of Agriculture has matching funds available to assist you in promoting CT Grown in your restaurant or facility.  

The Joint Venture Grant Program is designed to promote CT Grown products through the use of the CT Grown logo.

If you would like to include the logo in your signage, menus, advertising, etc. to promote your use of CT Grown products, we would love to help you!  

Please contact Linda at 860-713-2558 or for a grant application or for more information about the program.

CT Department of Agriculture Mascots
In addition to our four Veggie Mascots, Juicy Lucy (cucumber), Beta Carrot, Smiley Sprout, and The Colonel (corn), we also have a cow, a lobster, and a chicken.

The Mascots are a fun, effective way to promote the benefits of nutritious CT Grown foods.  Look for them at events such as farmers’ markets, fairs, and shows around the state.

All of the costumes are available to borrow for special events. For more information, please contact Linda at 860-713-2558 or

Nip ‘n Tang Recipe Contest Announced

Brian Wittman, owner of CT based Wittman Specialty Foods and member of the CT Specialty Foods Association, has asked us to let you know about the 2007 Nip ‘n Tang CT Invitational Recipe Contest.  Wittman Specialty Foods is offering $500 to the CT chef who submits the best original recipe featuring CT Made Nip ‘n Tang fruited horseradish. For more information, visit Wittman Specialty Foods.

CT Department of Agriculture Website

The CT Department of Agriculture has made it easier to find our website. Now just type into the address bar of your browser to get to our home page.  Don’t forget to bookmark it when you get there.

The Publications page on our website provides a wealth of resources for many different CT Grown commodities.