Field & Fork Network, a local non-profit organization dedicated to connecting farmers to new economies in the eight counties of Western New York, announce their 2nd Annual Farmer-Chef Conference at Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Java, NY on January 25, 2010. Open to agriculture and culinary industry professionals, students and educators, the one-day conference provides workshops and networking forums to promote the building of a viable and sustainable local food system in our region. Conference attendees will also hear from distinguished speakers and industry experts from around New York State and Canada.
Building on the momentum from the very successful 2009 conference, the 2010 conference will include three keynote speakers; Kathleen Harris of the Northeast Livestock Processing Service Company and Currytown Farm, award-winning Chef Michael Stadtlander of the Canadian Chefs Congress and Eigensinn Farm in Northern Ontario, and Patrick Martins, owner of Heritage Foods and one of the people who really brought Slow Food USA to life, at the behest of Slow Food International’s founder, Carlo Petrini. These three notable speakers, representing different roles in the food chain, will make presentations during the morning session and will also answer questions during an open panel discussion.
The Farmer-Chef Conference also offers a roster of workshops which includes a variety of topics designed to meet the needs of small scale farmers and chefs, and to encourage thoughtful discussion around the benefits and challenges of doing business with one another. Such topics include: The Farmer-Chef Relationship: Developing a Mutually Beneficial Model for Small Farms and Restaurants, Extending Your Season – Supplying the Demand , and Re-imagining the Small Dairy – A Blueprint for Success . A complete list of workshops and the conference schedule can be found on the conference website.
The conference will culminate with a local food tasting and tradeshow intended to showcase WNY’s bounty and provide a networking forum for conference attendees and local producers. Tabling is available for $25 for conference attendees or $50 for non-attendees. Interested parties can find a link to table registration for the local food tasting and tradeshow can be found on the conference website.
The conference, to be held at Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Java, NY, costs $55 per registrant and includes admission to all of the day’s programming, unique networking opportunities, an all local lunch and educational materials. Scholarship tickets are available based on need and on a first-come-first-serve basis. Last year’s conference sold out quickly, so early registration is recommended. Links to registration and tickets are available at http://farmerchefconference.wordpress.com.
Field & Fork Network would like to acknowledge the generous support of this year’s conference sponsors – Wegmans, Lexington Co-operative Market, Beaver Hollow Conference Center, Rich Products, Edible Buffalo, Culinary Institute Niagara Falls, New York State Restaurant Association, Sodexo, and the Aroma Group Restaurants. Additionally, Field & Fork Network would like to recognize its strong partner relationships with Cornell Co-operative Extension, Northeast Organic Farming Association’s NY chapter, American Farmland Trust and NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets/Pride of NY.
Looking for more information? Read what the press had to say about the 2009 Farmer-Chef Conference here!