Chefs Go Fresh Success
The Third Annual Chefs Go Fresh was a roaring success Monday as a group of D.C. area chefs hopped on motorcycles for a rally through Maryland farms, sponsored by Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Fisheries.
The event, originally co-founded by chef Robert Wiedmaier, introduced more than 30 chefs to area purveyors of produce, meats and other products in an effort to encourage chefs to buy local. This year's rally through Clinton and Brandywine, Md. also highlighted seafood. Chefs, including David Guas of Bayou Bakery and James Gee of Jaleo, among many others started the day with a traditional Belgian breakfast at Brasserie Beck. After a scenic drive to Clinton, Md., chefs arrived at Miller Farms where owner Brad Miller gave a guided hayride tour of the bountiful kale, cabbage and collards growing on his 260-acre farm. Chefs were also introduced to his many free-range chickens and had the opportunity to learn how Miller Farms sources to local markets as well as Giant food stores in the area. From there, chefs rallied on to P.A. Bowen Farmstead in Brandywine where they were taught the farm's cheese making process by owner Sally Fallon Morell and co-managers Mike and Barb Haigwood. P.A. Bowen's Chesapeake cheddar cheese was recently ranked second in the country by the American Cheese Society for hard farmstead aged cheeses.
Back in D.C., chefs concluded the day with a crab feast at Nick's Riverside Grill at Washington Harbour. Along with freshly steamed crabs (that were still alive when the chefs arrived) a number of sides were prepared with produce from Miller Farms. Chefs Go Fresh looks forward to continuing the tradition of spreading the word of local agriculture at next year's event.