Grow it locally, buy it locally, eat it locally - a culinary competition to promote local produce

Edward A. Skvarch, Elizabeth M. Lamb

Abstract


Within the five-county area around St. Lucie County, there are at least 25 local farmers with organic conventional, greenhouse or field production of vegetable crops. A number of these growers have approached Cooperative Extension personnel to assist with direct marketing especially to area restaurants. The same area supports numerous restaurants, all potential outlets for local produce. As a result of the growers' requests, meetings were conducted with area chefs and with local growers to discuss direct marketing opportunities for local produce. In order for this process to become successful, both the chefs and the growers agreed that the local consumer must be brought into the equation. This was accomplished through a culinary competition mimicking the popular "Iron Chef" television show. The competition was held at a local Farmers' Market, and spotlighted area chefs cooking culinary delights prepared with locally grown produce. The success of this event provides suggestions for others interested in promoting direct marketing of local produce through a culinary competition to attract consumers.

Keywords


direct marketing; farmers' markets; iron chef

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283