Community Harvest Meal celebrates healthy food from local sources
by Kyle Valentini
Healthy Tusc, in cooperation with Pissocra-Matthias Realty, the Tuscarawas Valley Family Farm Market and their vendors, invite residents of the region to experience a celebration of fresh, local food in an inaugural event that is slated to be a destination for families and individuals anxious to learn how they can use local products and seasonal produce in their own home-cooked meals.
The Community Harvest Meal will be held under the tent at the Tuscarawas Valley Family Farm Market at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, August 22, from 5-7 p.m., with the meal being served at 5:30. The event will feature local chefs from the region who, by using ingredients sourced from market vendors, will prepare a light meal that also serves as an educational tool that will assist guests in utilizing local and seasonal ingredients as a part of a healthier lifestyle.
“The point of the meal is to get people to focus on nutritional food that is readily available at the farmers market and can be prepared in fresh, simple meals,” said Pam Dummermuth, coordinator of community health and wellness at Union Hospital, and a Healthy Tusc Taskforce member. “We are weaving in the educational aspect by allowing local chefs to demonstrate cooking ideas and answering any questions the guests might have.”
The event is free but requires a ticket for admission. Tickets are available at the Tuscarawas Valley Family Farm Market information booth each Wednesday from 3-7 p.m., the Union Hospital Gift Shop, and at Bistro 131 at New Philadelphia.
Local chefs have been brought together thanks to the coordination of Jason Geisinger of Bistro 131 and the Lighthouse Bistro at Atwood Lake in an effort to promote local products that taste great and are a part of a healthy diet.
Chef Cameron Krahel, of the Canal Tavern at Zoar, will prepare three-onion bisque, while Geisinger will be working with guest chef Jeff Mathias to prepare an heirloom tomato bruschetta with fresh-pulled mozzarella on homemade ciabatta crostini, as well as engaging guests with a mozzarella-making demonstration.
Matt Ridgeway, executive chef and dietary manager at Hennis Healthcare Centre of Bolivar, will prepare a tomato and zucchini gratin and Carl King, Bistro 131 executive chef, will create a garlic and rosemary stuffed pork loin chop.
Alicia Holbrook, Lighthouse Bistro executive chef, will prepare dessert using local berries and pound cake.
Guests will have access to nutritional information for all the main ingredients used in the preparation of the meal.
Arrive early to enjoy educational activities provided by the Tuscarawas County office of Ohio State University Extension, including free pressure-canning lid testing by Chris Kendle from 3-4:30 p.m. and a salsa demonstration at 5 p.m. Sharon Cropper will provide the family nutrition program, Eat a Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables, from 3-5:30 p.m. at the Clover Café.
A limited number of reusable shopping bags filled with educational information regarding food preparation, proper storage and good health will be available from the Healthy Tusc Taskforce.
For more information, contact Pam Dummermuth at 330-602-0779.