MAYVILLE - Many residents of Chautauqua County know that some of the best fruit and vegetables are grown just around the corner and for them it is still easy to purchase local produce prevalent at the roadside stands that still dot the county.
Asparagus and strawberries in the spring, blueberries and peaches in the summer, apples and grapes in the fall - all are often of the finest quality and worthy of export. This is complemented by local farmers' markets where one can obtain locally produced fowl, beef, and dairy products. Visitors, however, do not know always know about these delicious offerings because local restaurants cannot obtain sufficient supplies in an efficient manner.
Likewise, savvy local chefs and restaurants know that the hottest topic in the restaurant world is "local" purchasing and featuring locally-grown and/or organic products on their menus and even identifying the name of the farms and farmers who supply them. These locally grown foodstuffs are sometimes fresher and of better quality than that which is imported by distributors. It is just these products that illustrate the "sense of place" so evident in America's Grape Country's landscape.
A local grassroots group composed of Ben Webb (Webb's Captain's Table), Jennifer Johnson (Johnson Estate Winery), Blair Koss (Westfield Farmer's Market), Pat Hathaway (Hathaway Farms) and Tony and Rebecca Pisicoli (Sapore Wine Bar & Restaurant), was inspired by the annual Buffalo Farm to Table Conference to replicate this effort in Chautauqua. The group hopes to encourage the formation of relationships between local farmers and restaurant owners and chefs, to study ways to help the two groups match local supplies with local demand, including the need to understand the importance of quality standards, methods of efficient distribution, and wholesale pricing.
The group will be sponsoring a Farm to Restaurant Mixer on Jan. 11 from 6-8 p.m. at Webb's Captains' Table, 115 West Lake Road in Mayville. Wine will be provided by Johnson Estate and hors d'oeuvres by Webb's Captain's Table. The mixer is open to all farmers and chefs/restaurants who are interested in providing or purchasing produce on a wholesale basis. The mixer will encourage the exchange of information on types and quantities of seasonal produce available as well on the development of farmer and chef relationships.
Questions and RSVP may be directed to Jennifer Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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