Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saugatuck Center For the Arts


 The Truth Behind Farm to Fork
Focus of Free SCA Event Tonight
7:00 pm on Thursday, November 15, 2012
at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Free admission | Donations Appreciated

As a growing number of chef’s throughout West Michigan market their restaurants as offering local foods on the menu, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver Street) presents an “Intriguing Conversation” on November 15 at 7:00 pm exploring what the term “farm to fork” really means and how it is used by business owners.

Presented in partnership with the Saugatuck/Douglas Area Business Association, admission is free in thanks to sponsorship by Bill Underdown of Shoreline Realtors and Hungry Village Tours. Donations at the door are appreciated.

The “Intriguing Conversations” series is a fresh take on the SCA’s popular “About It!” program. The re-tooled approach presents thought-provoking conversations with intriguing local people.

The conversation will feature local chefs Matthew Millar of Reserve Wine Bar, Joel Wabeke of Trillium Haven Farms and Matthew Pietsch of Salt of the Earth, Moderated by Molly Clauhs of The Silver Spork Food Truck.

“The ‘Farm to Fork’ concept is very hot in West Michigan and we thought it would make a terrific subject for an intriguing conversation,” shares SCA Executive Director, Kristin Armstrong. “Ultimately, restaurants who bill themselves as using local products aren’t regulated, so anyone can claim that they use ingredients from local farms. This discussion will shed light on what’s happening in our area and what restaurant patrons need to know to make informed decisions.”

Each of the chefs invited to participate in the conversation have a passion for using local ingredients and forming relationships with local farmers:

A James Beard nominee, Chef Matthew Millar of Reserve Wine Bar is a twenty year veteran in restaurant service. During more than a few years as owner and chef of Journeyman in Fennville, Michigan, he became enthralled with the farmers and artisans of West Michigan. Cooking with locally raised and seasonally sourced foods became an ethic that remains with Matt. When not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy Lee Cook, in Fennville where they live.

Chef Joel Wabeke has experience as a professional chef in both cities large and not so large. A longtime resident of Grand Rapids, he has returned from Chicago straight out of the kitchen of the restaurant Balena. Before his stint in Chicago, Joel was the Sous Chef at six.one.six in Grand Rapids, and before that he could be found in the kitchen at the Journeyman Cafe. Joel is now at the helm as Executive Chef of the new Trillium Haven restaurant, in the Eastown neighborhood.

A West Michigan native, Chef Matthew Pietsch has been in the hospitality industry since 1997. A graduate of Grand Rapids Community College’s culinary arts program, he was inspired by an apprenticeship with the US National Pastry Team in 2004 and worked throughout West Michigan for several years as an Executive Pastry Chef. Later he relocated to Dearborn where he operated the famed Opus One kitchen, and managed Opus One’s corporate foodservice for Ford Advertising. A stint with Iron Chef Michael Symon at Detroit’s upscale steakhouse ROAST set the stage for his move to Fennville to help found Salt of the Earth in 2009. He has settled in Fennville with his family and enjoys the rural life, raising chickens and working in his woodshop.

The conversation will be moderated by Molly Clauhs, owner of Grand Rapids’ The Silver Spork foodtruck. She was a finalist for Grand Rapids Young Entrepreneur of the Year and also co-owns Grand Rapids Cooking School. Molly grew up on a farm in Bucks County, PA that was home to the fields and creeks where she loved to play as well as her mother and grand mother’s cooking school. Good, real food was a staple in her family life. Twenty years later, her mother still hosts 15 home cooks a few times a week to inspire them with creative and delicious cooking classes and dining by the fire. Molly took this mission to heart and created The Silver Spork Gourmet Food Truck to spread her love of fresh, local-centric home cooking throughout West Michigan.

Presented in Partnership With: Saugatuck/Douglas Area Business Association

Intriguing Conversation Sponsor: Bill Underdown - Shoreline Realtors/Hungry Village Tours
Advertisement provided by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts,
a member of the Saugatuck/Douglas Area Business Association

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