Friday, May 20, 2011

Farm to fork effort grows in Louisiana

The spirit of Louisiana to support its own has positioned the state to be at the forefront of a movement in the culinary arts. While there’s been much reported on the concept of farm to fork, some Louisiana chefs have whole-heartedly embraced it offering seasonal ingredients on their menus year round.

SB 81 bill signing with Sen. Rick Gallot, Eldon Rogillio,
LRA President/CEO Stan Harris, Gov. Jindal, Sen. Mills
and La. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain.
In early May, LRA Past Chair Dickie Brennan arranged an educational field for chefs and farmers at the LSU Ag Center in Baton Rouge. The day’s events included a tour of the campus vegetable gardens, dairy and meat processing facilities, as well as group discussions on ways farmers, cattlemen and chefs could work towards a mutually beneficial relationship.

To steward this initiative, the Louisiana Restaurant Association has launched a survey which asks chefs specific questions about the types of produce and meats they’d like to see available in Louisiana’s portfolio of offerings. Delivery frequency, quantities, preferred method of payment and what type of restaurant respondents own are among the questions.

“We have so much potential in Louisiana to carry out important industry imperatives, particularly in the sustainability and food and healthy living arenas,” said LRA President/CEO Stan Harris. “With this initiative, Louisiana is posed to be a leader in actively sustaining not only our farmers and cattlemen, but also our fisheries.”