Blog: Farm to Fork

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What’s the shortest route to a reporter’s heart? Through her stomach of course! We believe the best way to deliver the fundamental Bon Appétit story, that we cook everything from scratch using fresh, often local, as-sustainable- as-possible ingredients, is to feed it to people — literally. To that end, we invited a select group of local media and VIPs and Diet for a Hot Planet author Anna Lappé to join us for an informal discussion over dinner cooked by one of our stellar teams. Anna is one of the leaders of the food movement — she was born into it, as the daughter of Frances Moore Lappé, whose 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet became a best-seller and the first handbook for eco-conscious eaters everywhere. Anna interviewed Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Director Helene York for her own book. […]

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Industrial-scale agriculture often exacts a steep human cost. That was one of the lessons I learned last week from farmer Bob Knight and farmworker Marco Franco of the Inland Orange Conservancy, Bon Appétit at the University of Redland’s first Farm to Fork partner. They were the guest speakers at one of our Stories from the Fields events, held at the University Club.

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By Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation In this video, Katherine Ecker gives me a tour of Legacy Manor Farm, where animals don’t just roam the pasture, they roam the driveway, the house…and anywhere they want! One hen insists on laying her eggs in the back of Katherine’s car, and the Eckers have woken up to find a horse standing on their front porch. As part of our Farm to Fork program begun in 1999, Bon Appétit Management Company purchases fresh, seasonal produce from small, local farmers around the country. We recently celebrated the milestone of 1,000 such suppliers. As a Fellow for Bon Appétit, I get to travel to these different farms and learn about the joys and challenges farmers today face — and share their stories.

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By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation  As West Coast Fellow, I’ve been traveling to some of Bon Appétit’s 1,000 Farm to Fork partners to understand their on-the-ground practices and challenges. I met farmer David Hoyle in between attending the Food Justice Conference in Eugene and presenting Stories from the Fields, about farm worker issues, at Lewis & Clark College. Dave and I chatted for a while in the rain on his farm, Creative Growers, tucked away in the back roads of Noti, Oregon.

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  By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation The Whitman Model Farm Project not only conserves natural resources and improves Whitman College’s environmental efficiency, but also happens to produce delicious food. I know because I just had an outstanding salad at Bon Appétit Management Company’s Prentiss Dining Hall at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA for lunch. Now, post-meal, like a salad lover in search of her pot of gold, I’m off to find out where my microgreens[1] came from. It turns out that in the rooftop greenhouse of Whitman College’s Hall of Science, salad grows. Sweet pea tendril vines wind their way up from growing trays. Four students are planting and watering seeds. I am sweltering under the greenhouse’s captured sun, but still determined to learn more about my lunch.

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Farmer Bob Knight (on right) with Bon Appétit Management Company Biola University Chefs By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation “Farms are getting huge. Real estate is expensive in California. Farming in the global food economy requires [farmers] to have thousands of acres. Farmers that used to have 10 or 20 acres are now being pressured to buy 4,000 acres.” We are at the Bon Appétit Management Company Student Ambassador Program at Biola University, a kick-off event for thirty students to get to know some of the people behind food: Bon Appétit chefs, staff, and farmers. Executive Chef Peter Alfaro just spoke about the path that led him to work in the kitchen and his passion for making the food system more sustainable through purchases as a chef. Biology professor and head of the Biola Organic […]

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~Written by Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Mgmt. Co.  As a Fellow for Bon Appétit, I have the pleasure of traveling to local farms from which Bon Appétit purchases, and meeting the very people who provide us with the food we eat. In September, I traveled to St. Libory, IL to visit Brad Schmitz, owner of Wenneman Meat Co., an old fashioned butcher shop and meat market that provides meat from Illinois farmers to Bon Appétit cafés at Washington University in St. Louis. Wenneman Meat Co. is unique to its area. Let’s face it—Illinois is corn country, not meat country. And sure enough, as I drove down IL-15 E—(nearly blinded by the sun, it was so bright!)—I passed field after field… after field… of corn, and soy. So what is this shop, sourcing local meat, doing in […]

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~Written by Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Mgmt. Co.     As a Fellow for Bon Appétit, I have the pleasure of traveling to local farms from which Bon Appétit purchases, and meeting the very people who provide us with the food we eat. Last month, I traveled to Dover, PA to visit one of the incredible farms that provides food at Goucher College—Sunnyside Farm. Sunnyside Farm is run by husband and wife Homer Walden and Dru Peters, two kindred spirits with opposite personalities. Homer is the creative farmer, brilliant inventor, and engineer. Dru is the practical businesswoman who makes sure that their hard work pays off in the end. Neither could make the farm run on their own—but together they have built up a beautiful farm and successful business, and you only have to talk to […]

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 Seared Sacramento Sturgeon lettuce wraps with fresh Sausalito watercress By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Hungry? Join me for a virtual lunch at the University of the Pacific Café! I went there for Bon Appétit Management Company’s sixth annual Eat Local Challenge and it was an event worth experiencing – if only via your imagination. The best part about it? It’s not far off from lunch served there every other day of the school year. First, let’s stop by the all-local salad bar. Grab what you want and remember to top your bowl off with strawberries, figs, and feta cheese. I recommend drizzling it with the creamy honey-goat cheese vinaigrette.