A new project is coming to Frederick that aims to bring food directly from Frederick farms to forks via some favorite local restaurants.
Farm-to-Fork Frederick is coming to the area in August and is slated to bring more than 18 chefs at about 12 restaurants together with 10 locals farms and five award-winning Frederick County wineries. The participating chefs and restaurants have committed to using at least 60 percent locally sourced, locally grown and raised products and to showcase the best Frederick County has to offer.
The Farm-to-Fork initiative originated in Virginia’s Loudon County and was created in 2011 by marketing entrepreneur Miriam Nasuti. Following the success of the second event in Loudon County, Nasuti made the decision to bring the culinary celebration to Frederick after some prompting from one of the owners of the Wine Kitchen, Jason Miller. His first restaurant, the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg has been a part of the Loudon County Farm-to-Fork events.
The kick-off meet and greet event took place on June 17 and began the process of connecting chefs, farms and wineries. Participating restaurants will create a special Farm-to-Fork menu available during the event, which will run from Aug. 23 through Sept. 2 (Labor Day). These menus will feature dishes made with ingredients from participating farms and feature at least two of the participating wineries.
While this old-fashioned relationship building will benefit the restaurants and local providers, it will also benefit regional customers and visitors. During the kick-off event, Nasuti mentioned that the media has cited Farm-to-Fork’s authenticity and integrity as the reason for its success. The standards for the chefs and farms participating are quite stringent. Local means really local. Area restaurants source from many farms just over the border in Pennsylvania. Most would still consider that pretty local, but for this initiative, the farmers are only allowed to present things to the chefs that were grown or born and raised within Frederick County.
The Farm-to-Fork website, www.FarmToForkFrederick.com, is still under construction, but updates will be posted as information becomes availabe. Eventually there will be a list of all of the participating restaurants, farms and wineries. A few that were at the meet and greet included Firestones Culinary Tavern, Brewer’s Alley, Bushwallers, South Mountain Creamery, Elk Run Vineyards, Sweet Farm Sauerkraut and Nick’s Organic Farm.
A personal note: As an avid supporter of Frederick food, I am very excited to see this event come to life here. Frederick has some incredibly rich farmland and a wonderfully diverse community of food producers.