This blog post was written by Madeline Blasberg about the first annual Farm to Table event that took place at the University of Missouri. Photos courtesy of Kelly Hagen.

Making the Farm-to-Table Connection

Festival participants enjoyed a lunch featuring locally grown and raised food, prepared by the University Club and University Catering of the University of Missouri.

Growing interest in bringing farmers and chefs together in an effort to provide local, seasonal, sustainable food is the root of the farm to table movement.  Conversations about how where our food comes from and how it is handled along the way are sprouting up across the nation.  The University Club, of the University of Missouri hosted a weekend-long conversation.

Tips for facilitating a symbiotic relationship between chefs and farmers was one of the many topics discussed at the festival.

Chef Tim Grandinetti demonstrates how to use various elements of lamb that would normally go to waste.

Making the connection between the hands that cook the food and the hands that plant the seeds really isn’t that difficult, that is, if you pause to consider what the two sides have in common.

“We’re all in this together,” says Bob Perry, special projects manager for sustainable agriculture programs at the University of Kentucky and Chefs Collaborative board member.  “Chefs and farmers are more alike than they realize.”  Difficulties with weather, dependence on equipment, slim profit margins and regulations beyond their control are all obstacles with which both professions have to contend.

The festival also included a small farmers market where participants were able to discuss seasonal cooking and purchase fresh produce including fresh berries.