August 25, 2014

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Northern Utah Foods Showcased at Farm-to-Table Dinner

By Devin Felix

August 25, 2014

Tremonton – The Utah Office of Tourism is out to prove that Northern Utah is full of excellent homegrown and homemade food. They did so last week with a multi-course dinner served to food producers and members of the media.

The Taste of Northern Utah Farm-to-Table Dinner took place Thursday at the Holmgren Historical Farm in Tremonton. It featured products by nine food producers from around Northern Utah, which were assembled into a multi-course meal by chefs from Salt Lake City restaurants Pago and Finca.

Scott Evans, owner of Pago and Finca, said his restaurants go to great lengths to use local foods because they are usually fresher and of higher quality, and the impact to the environment is lessened when food doesn’t have to travel hundreds of miles. It can increase a sense of community and connect consumers and producers. “It makes food more meaningful when you know the people who grow it,” he said.

The dinner featured foods from Parker Farms, Morgan Valley Lamb, Crumb Brothers, Pettingills, Gelarti, Keep it Real Vegetables, Sugarhouse Pork, Pago Farm and Butchers Bunches. Each course included descriptions by Evans or the chefs of where the ingredients were produced and how the foods were made.

The dinner also featured wines from Ruth Lewandowski Wines, a new winery in Salt Lake. The winery is run by Evan Lewandowski, a young winemaker who has studied winemaking throughout the world but dreamed of making all-natural wines in Utah. Within the past few years, Lewandowski started making wines locally using grapes grown out of state, but he plans to begin growing grapes in Utah in coming years.

The meal took place in a historic barn at the Holmgren Farm, which was built in the 1940s. The farm was originally homesteaded in the late 1800s and is now owned by the Zollinger family. The farm still grows some food, but now serves mostly as a venue for events such as weddings.

The Utah Office of Tourism is interested in promoting local food products because more and more travelers are seeking out local food as a way to experience the character of the places they visit. Tourism officials hope Utah’s reputation as a food destination can grow and contribute to bringing people to the state.

LuAnn Adams, commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture, said her department strongly supports the movement in recent years toward local eating. The state’s Utah’s Own program exists specifically to promote Utah-made food and drink. “I’m on a mission to promote agriculture in the state of Utah,” Adams said. “Every time you buy Utah’s Own, you are helping your friends and neighbors.” 

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