Since becoming Executive Chef almost 2 years ago, David Whitney of Paesano Restaurant in Ann Arbor has been adding more and more local ingredients to the Italian season menu. But the Escanaba native wanted to do more with local producers – and now he is getting his wish. Paesano is hosting an outdoor Farm-To-Table dinner on Thursday, September 20 at 6:30pm. The event will feature a locally sourced menu matched with Michigan wines and micro brewed beers. A portion of the $65 ticket fee will go to the newly formed Washtenaw Food Hub. Partners for the event include Lunasa Market and Edible WOW magazine.
Ingredients for the five-course dinner will be provided through Lunasa Online Farmer’s Market. Located at the Washtenaw Food Hub on Whitmore Lake Road in Ann Arbor, Lunasa connects local farmers and producers with area buyers, restaurants and grocers. “The buy local food movement in Michigan is rapidly growing and has changed our buying habits for the restaurant,” said Paesano owner Mike Roddy. “So the timing for an event like this is a perfect way to usher in the fall season.”
The Washtenaw Food Hub was started earlier this year as “a community resource for local sustainable food”. It’s co-founder Richard Andres says, "We're making it a place where people can come and network, and share food distribution from the CSAs... and maybe share some food recipes, too." Andres, and his partner, Deb Lentz, also own Tantré Farm, an organic farm with its own CSA. Andres calls it an "enhanced distribution site for community farm shares". There is a meat freezer, along with eggs, fruits and vegetables. Gardening supplies, including organic minerals and fertilizers, are also available for sale.
In addition to local farmers, the Michigan Wine Industry and local micro brewers will be represented at the event. “We are excited to have virtually the entire menu sourced from the State of Michigan,” says Roddy. “Guests will get a true sense of where their foods come from and where they can get most anything they want right in this area. And, this is really how the Italians have been eating for centuries - go to the local market, buy everything fresh and prepare it that day. Guests can shake the hand that feeds them!”
Local farmers and other vendors will be on hand to talk about their products and the growth of the local food movement in Washtenaw County. The menu will feature later summer and early fall harvests. Call for reservations at 734-971-0484.