What’s better than cooking with fresh local tomatoes, juicy summer peaches or unbeatable Illinois sweet corn? Having an expert chef prepare them for you! At Local Flavors, local chefs create innovative dishes highlighting fresh, seasonal, locally grown food. Events are held the third Thursday of the month, June through October, in Springfield, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana.
The most recent Springfield event was hosted by American Harvest Eatery and attracted nearly 300 people, according to executive chef Jordan Coffey.
“The whole Local Flavor(s) dinner is kind of what our restaurant is about in the first place,” Coffey said. “We’ve been open for a year and three months and to date it was our most lucrative evening.”
He attributed the success to the ever-growing desire of diners to eat good, locally sourced food, and promotion done by the restaurant.
The events are designed to grow the market for Illinois’ small farms and specialty crop producers, encourage consumers to support local businesses and continue to cultivate the relationships between farmers and chefs.
“Local Flavors was initiated because of interest from farmers but it has been successful because of the support from both chefs and diners” Lindsay Record, executive director at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, said. “Local Flavors has been a very rewarding program because everyone wins. Farmers can tap into a new market, chefs receive fresh, high quality produce, and diners get some of the best food central Illinois has to offer.”
The schedule with dates and participating restaurants can be viewed here: http://www.ilstewards.org/content/3811
Reservations are encouraged and can be made by contacting participating restaurants directly. Receive monthly menus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with Local Flavors in the subject line.