Farm-grown, locally raised beef, pork and chicken were in the spotlight at The Farmer and Chef Fair: Cut, Prep, Pair, held in the My Kitchen demonstration and cooking space at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on March 9. The informal event hosted by HWS’ Finger Lakes Institute brought together home cooks, chefs, restauranteurs, food trucks and food distributors to learn more about the origins of the region’s foods.
The educational event began with the introduction of local farmers and top chefs from area restaurants followed by three demonstration sessions on selecting, cutting and preparing various cuts and kinds of meat. The resulting dishes were available to attendees for tastings and pairings with regional wines, beers and spirits.
Participants were able to build personal connections with the demonstrators and meat distributors over discussion of products and recipe creations. Farmers and other producers of local foods were also on hand to sell products to attendees.
The event tapped into America’s increasing interest in locally-grown food. The local food, or locavore movement, suggests that individuals pledge to buy food grown or raised within the local region, which is generally defined as within 100 miles. Motivations for buying local food include a desire to forge stronger relationships with food producers, to diminish the carbon footprint of the food supply chain and to eat healthier.
Upstate New York and the Finger Lakes, known especially for the production of wine and dairy products. New York has more than seven million acres of farmland and 36,000 farms, the majority of them in the upstate region. The event was held in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario, Seneca, and Yates Counties and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops.
The Finger Lakes Institute at HWS promotes environmental research and education and promotes models that integrate economic, environmental and social impacts of economic development strategies for the region. The HWS Fribolin Farm offers experiential learning opportunities for students, staff and faculty members to engage with our food system, the campus and the surrounding community.