Save the Date!
November 1st, 2015. The Producers Choice Chef Award returns! Join us on November 1, 2015 as we celebrate the Fabric of Local Foods. Enjoy a five course meal prepared by local chefs made with ingredients from local producers. Our keynote speaker, Robert Egger, will share challenges and solutions to eliminate intergenerational hunger. Egger is Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which recovers fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel a culinary arts job training program. Engage in a unique farm to table dining experience for one night only. Reserve your seat at the table! Sponsorships and tickets are available. All proceeds will support programs of Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and the food hub for No More Empty Pots. For more information: Call: 402.502.1642 and ask for Susan, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Past Producers Choice Chef Award Winners
Glenn Wheeler of Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
Isa Moscowitz of Modern Love Omaha.
Ben Maides of Avoli Osteri
John Hamburger of Back Alley Bakery
Kevin Shinn of bread&cup
Colin & Jessica Duggan of Kitchen Table
Paul Kulik, Chef/Owner, Boiler Room Restaurant & LeBouillon
Clayton Chapman, Chef/Owner of The Grey Plume
Nick Strawhecker, Owner/Chef of Dante Pizzeria
Joel Mahr, Chef at Lot 2 Restaurant & Wine Bar
Matt Roush, Chef de Cuisine at bread&cup.
Purchase your tickets here!
In 2008 we began dreaming of doing this event. At that time, we did a lot of brainstorming and thought of some BIG and crazy ideas: inviting the food network to broadcast the event, hosting 500-1000 people and doing it at a large furniture outlet, having a national tv celebrity MC...We did everything we could to think outside of the box. Sometimes seeds take a long time to germinate and it can take just the right combination of conditions for it to happen.
The funny thing is, we are a group of mostly farmers and although we know farmers are all gamblers (it's inherent in working with Mother Nature), we also like to gamble on the same things year after year. For NSAS, that meant we continued to put on our annual Healthy Farms Conference at different venues around the state; we continued to connect farmers and customers; we continued to educate and reach out to new farmers; we continued to work on environmental awareness projects; and we continued to revel in the delicious work we created.
The seed was ready to grow by the winter or 2013. Metro Community College had completed its new Institute for the Culinary Arts, NSAS had an enthusiastic and capable young Executive Director, and we started to reorganize for the future. NSAS has existed for over 40 years and we continue to push the envelope and expand the horizons of what "local and sustainable" food systems mean. Across the nation there is growing momentum in the food world, a blooming environment of farmer - chef relationships, and growing discussion about many levels of our food system. The time finally seemed ripe to re-frame our goals for this chef event.
It was important to start with the farmers, since we are largely a farmer-based organization. At the 2013 conference at Mahoney State Park, our members nominated the chefs they work with who best represented the sustainable food system message NSAS strives to create. Twenty chefs, caterers and cooks from across the state were nominated. We chose those with the most nominations and invited them to participate. This event is unique because it started with grass-roots nominations that recognize the important work so many chefs are doing to create delicious food while supporting local food systems. Every nomination is an honor and show of gratitude from our farmer members. Every vote is a compliment and nod to the good work so many folks in the restaurant industry do. NSAS cordially invites everyone to join us in celebrating the work chefs and farmers do together to promote agriculture and food systems that build healthy land, people, communities and quality of life, for present and future generations.