Farmers To Train Chefs at Sustainability Session

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 28, 2011

Parkhurst Dining Services Executive Chef Eugene Boyle will participate in a first-of-its-kind training session where farmers train chefs at the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) annual conference Farming for the Future at State College Feb. 2-5.

The training session—“Sustainability in the Foodservice Industry”—will provide 40 Parkhurst Dining chefs an exclusive opportunity to be introduced to local producers and their products, discuss preparation techniques and learn how others are finding and using more fresh and local foods on the menu.

“This is the first time an organization like PASA has focused on chefs and supported a food service curriculum where chefs and farmers have the opportunity to learn from each other and network,” says Jamie Moore, PASA board member and organizer of the session.

Moore, director of sourcing and sustainability for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, of which Parkhurst Dining is a member, helped to develop and drives Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s FarmSource, recognized in the contract food service industry as one of the top local purchasing programs. Through FarmSource, the organization is able to purchase more than 20 percent of its food in-season within 125 miles, works with more than 150 local farmers and producers, and last year spent more than $17 million on local food purchases.

“To help ensure the future success of the local food system, chefs and farmers need to be on the same page, becoming fully aware and educated on what each other’s needs are. Our goal is to offer chefs and farmers this exciting opportunity to get to the ‘root’ of the food system where chefs will gain a greater understanding of where our food comes from, how to effectively partner with the agricultural community, identify resources to enhance sustainable methods and most importantly, how to menu a protein from “nose to tail,” says Moore.

Brian Snyder, PASA executive director, says “The Sustainability in the Foodservice Industry session is an important effort to bridge the gap between chefs and farmers, building upon our conference theme Strength from our roots: Claiming our Food System Future. Putting farmers and chefs in the same room where they can gather new ideas and network not only improves their businesses, it also helps our members promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all.”

A member of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Parkhurst Dining Services provides exceptional culinary experiences and dining services to guests at the finest educational institutions, corporations and cultural destinations in its marketing region. Our foundation is built on personal relationships and exceeding the expectations of our guests and associates every day. Join us for a farm-fresh and sustainable dining experience.

With nearly 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable organizations in the U.S. Through business support and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy and public education, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries in February. For more information, visit