100% Local Meal – The Possibilities are Delicious

October 24, 2013

On Tuesday, September 24th, many diners on campus took the Eat Local Challenge, enjoying a delicious, 100% local meal.

All ingredients for selected stations came from local farmers and artisans within 150 miles of Penn -- the only exception being salt! The annual Eat Local Challenge highlights chefs’ creativity, educates guests about eating locally and seasonally, and supports and publicizes great local farmers.

When Bon Appétit launched its first Eat Local Challenge in 2005, the idea of caring about “local food” was a novelty, not a national movement. The idea behind the annual event was to encourage people to look beyond their supermarket and seek out the bounty of food growing all around them. The American Farmland Trust estimates that for each $10 spent on food, only $1.58 gets back to the farmers and ranchers who grew it. By buying directly from local farms, Bon Appétit has played a vital role in the local food movement over the last 14 years.

Each year Penn chefs get increasingly creative with their meals. It’s not as easy as it may sound. Want bread? We have to find locally grown wheat and yeast. How about a turkey sandwich? We need to locate turkeys close to Penn, too.

But that has never fazed our chefs! At English House, Chef Patterson Watkins built a Burger Bar completely composed of local ingredients. Vegetarians headed to Hill House where they found Chef Donald Stauffer’s Seitan Stroganoff with Braised Collard Greens and a White Bean Cassoulet. In 1920 Commons and Houston Market, Chefs Steven Ferrado and Khori Thomas respectively filled the huge salad areas with 100% local ingredients.


Compost collection takes place at several locations on campus, including all campus dining halls, Golkin Hall, and Joe's Cafe at Wharton.

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