FamilyFarmed Expo

By
November 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm

It’s All About Local Food
FamilyFarmed EXPO CONNECTS PEOPLE WITH
LOCAL FARMERS AND FOOD ARTISANS
NOVEMBER 21-23, 2008, AT THE CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER

Three days packed with celebrity chef cooking demos, interactive workshops with national and regional experts, local food tastings, plus activities for children and an indoor farmer’s market, just in time for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays

CHICAGO (October 23, 2008) — The FamilyFarmed EXPO is a three-day fall harvest festival and celebration of local food and goods. It brings some of the Midwest’s best local farmers and family-owned producers of food and farm products together with the public, trade buyers and leaders in the field to foster relationships that facilitate the growth of local food systems. A program of FamilyFarmed.org, the event is set Friday through Sunday, November 21-23, 2008, at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Friday’s activities will focus on business-to-business workshops targeted at farmers, producers and trade buyers, plus Localicious! — a locavore party featuring distinctive dishes made with locally produced foods. Saturday and Sunday will feature an indoor farmer’s market, celebrity chef cooking demos, interactive workshops with national and regional experts, local food tastings and engaging activities for children. The entire three-day event is open to the public. Tickets to the EXPO are $15 purchased in advance at http://www.familyfarmed.org and $20 at the door. Tickets to Localicious! are sold separately for $50 purchased in advance at http://www.familyfarmed.org and $60 at the door.

Farmers, artisan producers, trade buyers, leaders in the field and fans of locally grown and responsibly produced foods and goods gather annually at the FamilyFarmed EXPO to meet, learn from each other and build relationships. The FamilyFarmed EXPO is among the country’s largest events that focus on locally and responsibly produced food and goods. It is an initiative of FamilyFarmed.org, whose mission is to expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food and goods, in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities.

FamilyFarmed.org founder Jim Slama is passionate about how easy it is for people to make a powerful difference not only for their own health, but also for the community, the environment and the economy. “There is so much we can do to ensure the quality of our food,” Jim said. “Local food brings people closer to farmers and food artisans which helps to build trust-based relationships from farm and producer to table. Local food systems are one way to create a more direct connection to what we eat, and the FamilyFarmed EXPO helps to encourage their expansion.”

The FamilyFarmed EXPO is one of FamilyFarmed.org’s many ongoing programs. The nonprofit organization also played a key role in the creation of the Illinois Food, Farms & Jobs Act which went into effect earlier this year and is hailed as model legislation to build a local food system. The law created the Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force which is charged with developing a plan and funding recommendations to be presented to the Governor and State Legislature. Many state-appointed task force members will speak at the EXPO and Food, Farms and Jobs Act lead sponsor, JULIE HAMOS, will lead a Saturday discussion about state initiatives to promote local food.

FamilyFarmed EXPO activities for the public will feature an indoor farmer’s market designed with Thanksgiving and holiday shopping in mind. More than 100 exhibitors are expected to sell Thanksgiving turkeys and other holiday meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, pastries, cheeses, eggs, milk and specialty foods, along with locally made farm products and other goods. Information-packed workshops and lively panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday will cover a wide range of topics, many featuring some of Chicago’s leading chefs, local farmers, artisan producers and experts in the field including Tallgrass Beef Founder BILL KURTIS and Author DAVID BLUME (Alcohol Can Be a Gas), among many others. Engaging programs with practical tips will cover: How to eat local and organic on a dime; Growing your own food; Locally and artisanally produced beverages; Getting to know your farmer; Benefits of grass-fed meat and dairy; Building local food systems in Illinois and the truth about food production’s impact on global warming, to name just a few. The slated schedule of workshops and presenters follows. In addition, there will be local food tastings and activities designed just for kids.

Cooking demos will be presented by some of the region’s most distinctive food purveyors and renowned chefs including RICK BAYLESS (Frontera Grill / Topolobampo), GALE GAND (Tru), PAUL KAHAN (Blackbird / Publican), MICHAEL ALTENBERG (Crust / Bistro Campagne), GREG CHRISTIAN (Greg Christian Catering) and JASON HAMMEL (Lula Café), among others.

The list of FamilyFarmed EXPO sponsors to date follows. More information and tickets are available at http://www.familyfarmed.org.

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