Chef Sarah Stegner of Northbrook-IL Prairie Grass Cafe and Cindy Kurman of Kurman Communications, Inc. have founded National Eat Local Day to be held annually on the Fall Equinox, September 22. “Our hope is that leading chefs across the country can work together to raise awareness of the importance of supporting our local sustainable farms. We hope to increase the flow of local sustainable food to the restaurant tables across the country in order to protect our farm lands and to ensure their success so future generations have access, said Stegner.
Joining the two in their efforts are chefs Alice Waters and Jérôme Waag at Chez Panesse (Berkeley, CA), Alison Price Becker (Alison Eighteen, New York City), Stephanie Pearl Kimmel (Marché, Eugene OR), Francois de Melogue (Figue Mediterranean, La Quinta CA), Mark Grosz (Oceanique, Evanston IL), Paul Fehribach (Big Jones, Chicago IL), Jamie Leeds (Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge, Washington DC), Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora, Washington DC), Norman Van Aken (Tuyo, Miami, FL) and Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris (Prairie Grass Cafe, Northbrook, IL) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill and Topolobampo). The list will continue to grow.
For more information about restaurants participating in National Eat Local Day, along with their featured menus for the day, please visit the website at www.nationaleatlocalday.com.
Oceanique - Celebrating National Eat Local Day on Monday, September 23 Chef Mark Grosz 505 Main St. Evanston, IL 60202 847-864-3435 www.oceanique.com
Menu - A La Carte
Eggplant, Heirloom carrots and tomatoes, seasonal mushrooms, Tropea onions and a leek-basil broth ($23) Fennel, Arugula, Tropea Onion and Peach Salad ($12)
Why is it important to offer locally sourced foods? “Buying local is important because to use what’s in season provides the freshest and best flavors. It’s also important to support the local economy. We utilize local farmers markets and farms and plan our menus around what’s available. We don’t use produce out of season because the quality isn’t there and prices are higher,” says Mark Grosz, Oceanique in Evanston, IL
List of local ingredients and sources: First Orchards – Eggplant, tomatoes and peaches Nichols Farms – Heirloom carrots, mushrooms, Tropea onions, leeks and basil