A chance to meet the people behind your food

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Lauren Hamlin
The Broadside

For those with an appetite for sustainability, locally-sourced foods and education, “Meet Your Farmer” serves a complete dish.
Cascade Culinary Institute is hosting “Meet Your Farmer,” the monthly dinner on April 18, put on by Local Commerce Alliance in partnership with Central Oregon Locavore.
“These dinners are meant to engage the farmer with the community and increase awareness about where and how local foods are produced and what is available seasonally,” according to Central Oregon Locavore’s website.
“Meet Your Farmer” features local farmers and serves dishes, prepared by students, using the farmer’s products. This month’s dinner is hosting local Prineville farmer Billie Johnson of Windy Acres Dairy Farm.
“The fun part for myself and the students is getting these ingredients and finding different meals to make with them,” said Thor Erickson, Executive Chef at CCI’s Elevation Restaurant.
At these dinners, farmers present information about their work and the ingredients sourced for the meals served. Students also talk about their experience  using the locally sourced ingredients.
“By hosting these dinners  [CCI] hopes to not only educate students, but also educate the public about the importance of using local ingredients and supporting local farmers and producers,” said Erickson.
Niki Timm, President and founder of Local Commerce Alliance non-profit started these dinners in September 2010. Cascades Culinary Institute began hosting “Meet Your Farmer” in January 2012.
“Monica (Heyneker, who is in charge of booking) and myself knew some of the people involved in Central Oregon Locavore, and put out the idea of having the dinners here,” said Erickson.
Central Oregon Locavore and “Meet Your Farmer” are projects of Local Commerce Alliance non-profit. Other projects include Willing Workers on Local Farms (WWOLF), Farm Kids Program, Locavore’s Home Companion, and Edible Adventure Crew.
“Why the collaboration works so well is because Cascade Culinary Institute supports sustainable and real food,” said Timm. “It’s teaching students about the food and engaging them with the farmers.”
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling 877-541-2433, or purchasing at centraloregonlocavore.com. To find out more about Central Oregon Locavore, contact Timm at info@centraloregonlocavore.com.

(Contact: lrhamlin@cocc.edu)

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