Sample and savor the state's local flavor September 18-24
(HARTFORD, CONN.) Descriptions and prices of menus being offered by participants during Farm-to-Chef Week, September 18-24, are now available on the Connecticut Department of Agriculture's website, www.CTGrown.gov (look under "Featured Links").
"Farm-to-Chef Week is a great opportunity for people to try a wide assortment of agricultural products grown and raised by Connecticut's finest farmers and prepared by some of the state's foremost chefs," said state Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky. "These special Farm-to-Chef menus feature Connecticut Grown ingredients in every dish and spotlight the farms that have produced those ingredients."
The seven-day celebration of Connecticut Grown cuisine is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture's Farm-to-Chef Program, which connects farmers and distributors of Connecticut Grown products with local chefs and other culinary professionals. Seventy restaurants and other dining venues throughout the state have signed up to participate in this year's event.
Menus offered are as diverse as the state's nearly 5,000 farms. Diners may opt for something as formal as a white-tablecloth, fixed-price, multicourse dinner featuring Connecticut clams and oysters, butternut squash bisque, Stonington seafood stew, and roasted pear and bourbon bread pudding, or more casual dining enjoying a-la-carte fare such as a gluten-free, vegan burger made with oats, cashews, and local organic fall squash, topped with Connecticut Grown organic greens and goat cheese, followed by a pumpkin-chocolate-chip cupcake featuring local organic pumpkin.
"There is something available for every taste, dietary preference, and budget," Commissioner Reviczky said. "This is an excellent opportunity for people to try new foods and to learn more about some of the many exceptional crops and products grown right here in Connecticut."
"While Connecticut's agricultural industry is not as large as that in California, Florida, or some of the Midwestern states, it is nonetheless very significant," he continued. "Connecticut agriculture not only produces a wealth of high-quality, nutritional foods for our citizens, it also contributes $3.5 billion to our state's economy every year and employs some 20,000 people."
Farm-to-Chef Week will kick off Sunday, September 18, 2011, with a free special event from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Coventry Regional Farmers'
Market, 2299 South Street, Coventry. Chefs from participating venues, including Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point, Plan B Burger Bar, Sodexo/Fairfield University, and Whole Foods Market, will perform cooking demonstrations using fresh Connecticut Grown items from the market. WNPR's Chion Wolf will host the festivities, which also include live music and the market's popular annual Fiber Twist festival. The event is free and open to all.
"We are very excited to be hosting this kick-off event for Farm-to-Chef Week," said Winter Caplanson, a volunteer organizer for the Coventry Farmers' Market. "Our vendors love seeing talented chefs transform their products into delectable dishes, using the same love and care that the farmers put into growing the raw ingredients."
For more information about Farm-to-Chef Week or the Farm-to-Chef Program, please visit the Department of Agriculture's website, www.CTGrown.gov.
CONNECTICUT GROWN - The Local Flavor