Press Releases

Parkhurst Provides FoodService Sustainability Training at PASA; Parkhurst/Cura Teams Bridge Gap Between Chefs and Farmers
Parkhurst/Cura Teams Bridge Gap Between Chefs and Farmers

Pittsburgh, PA, January 27, 2012 -- Parkhurst Dining chefs and managers will offer their expertise during the Sustainability in Food Service Industry sessions, primarily focusing on how to partner with farms, understanding new food labels and how to incorporate more fresh and local foods on the menu during the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 21st annual Farming for the Future Conference.  This widely regarded event brings together an audience of over 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists, business and community leaders, as well as chefs who will learn more about practical training and topics for farmers, environmental issues, and sustainability February 1-4, 2012 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. 

Jamie Moore, PASA board member and organizer of the Sustainability in Food Service Industry sessions, says, “I was happy to introduce and help create these training sessions last year, which were offered to chefs.  Moore, director of sourcing and sustainability for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, said that the popularity of last year’s sessions peaked interest with Cura dining teams, as well as food service professionals outside of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, who wanted to learn from Parkhurst at this year’s conference.  “We are happy to offer our knowledge and years of experience in food service sustainability, a commitment that Eat’n Park Hospitality Group made over 12 years ago through FarmSource, recognized in the contract food service industry as one of the top local purchasing programs.  Through FarmSource, our organization works with more than 200 local farmers and producers, and last year spent more than $18 million on local food purchases,” says Moore.

Moore will instruct a class on how to read and understand new food labels as well as focus on, for example, the differences between ultra-pasteurized milk, pasteurized milk and raw milk.  In addition to Moore, Mike Passanita, Parkhurst executive sous chef at St. Francis University, will provide a class on partnering and building relationships with local farmers; while Mike Galterio, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group food code specialist, will offer his expertise on creating HACCP guidelines when using for example, home-grown foods. For more information on the Sustainability in the Food Service Industry sessions, please see details here: http://www.pasafarming.org/conference2012/track_4.htm

According to Katie Stauter, Cura Hospitality director of dining services at Pickering Manor in Newtown, PA, “What I am hoping to get out of my attendance on a professional level is to learn what direction to take to serve sustainable meals in our industry.  Along the way I hope to pick up some tricks on how to do so within the budgetary parameters that we face in our industry.  My goal on a personal level is to find out how causes like PASA need "my" support.  Whether it be through donations, home gardens, small scale composting, etc.  I want to ensure my children, and my children's children, are able to enjoy the world as I remember it when I was younger.” 

Many Parkhurst attendees who attended last year have applied what they learned to their operations.  For example, Scott Rattan, executive chef at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, said that while attending a past PASA cheese making 101 session for busy chefs, gave him inspiration to create things in the kitchen that he would not have made like fresco cheeses, yogurts and even smoking your own sausages. “When you see somebody do it and make the cheese in one hour, you realize that you can do this too,” says Rattan, who also posts signage to let students know that he has made the cheese.  “It falls in line with Parkhurst’s gold standards where everything is prepared from scratch.”

While Parkhurst partners with several local and Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farmers, purchasing from a CSA on-campus is a unique venture for past conference attendee Dan Dooley, who is the executive chef at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.  “What I learned at the conference was how to find more creative ways to incorporate local foods into the menu,” says Chef Dooley, who now purchases shares of honey from apiaries installed at Chatham’s sustainable Eden Hall Campus.  When he collects his CSA shares, Chef Dooley uses the honey to prepare baked goods like baklava, as a marinade for grilling chicken and even incorporates the fresh variety of herbs like basil, chives and oregano grown in the campus greenhouse, to make a honey Dijon vinaigrette. “It’s all about learning how to support local agriculture, helping the campus to become more sustainable, all while giving the students the opportunity to enjoy the fresh ‘fruits’ of our labor.”

Parkhurst and Cura dining teams will continue to attend PASA conferences where they will learn new trends in farming and food preparation to bring a more sustainable and farm-fresh dining experience to their guests. “Knowing your source, where your food comes from and making good use of fresh and wholesome locally-grown food on our menus every day creates a win/win for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group and the guests we serve,” says Moore.

Brian Snyder, PASA executive director, says “The Sustainability in the Foodservice Industry session is an important effort to bridge the gap between chefs and farmers, building upon our conference theme Breaking Ground for a New Agriculture: Cultivating Versatility and Resilience. Putting farmers and chefs in the same room where they can gather new ideas and network not only improves their businesses, it also helps our members promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all.”

About Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

With nearly 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable organizations in the U.S. Through business support and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy and public education, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.  PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries in February.   For more information, visithttp://www.pasafarming.org/conference2012/index.cfm.

About Parkhurst Dining Services:

A member of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Parkhurst Dining Services provides exceptional culinary experiences and dining services to guests at the finest educational institutions, corporations and cultural destinations in its marketing region.  Our foundation is built on personal relationships and exceeding the expectations of our guests and associates every day.   Join us for a farm-fresh and sustainable dining experience. www.parkhurstdining.com

Contacts:

Grace Hoyer, Public Relations
Parkhurst Dining 
610-282-0916, office
610-349-0844, cell
ghoyer@parkhurstdining.com

Parkhurst Provides FoodService Sustainability Training at PASA; Parkhurst/Cura Teams Bridge Gap Between Chefs and Farmers
Parkhurst/Cura Teams Bridge Gap Between Chefs and Farmers

Pittsburgh, PA, January 27, 2012 -- Parkhurst Dining chefs and managers will offer their expertise during the Sustainability in Food Service Industry sessions, primarily focusing on how to partner with farms, understanding new food labels and how to incorporate more fresh and local foods on the menu during the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 21st annual Farming for the Future Conference.  This widely regarded event brings together an audience of over 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists, business and community leaders, as well as chefs who will learn more about practical training and topics for farmers, environmental issues, and sustainability February 1-4, 2012 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. 

Jamie Moore, PASA board member and organizer of the Sustainability in Food Service Industry sessions, says, “I was happy to introduce and help create these training sessions last year, which were offered to chefs.  Moore, director of sourcing and sustainability for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, said that the popularity of last year’s sessions peaked interest with Cura dining teams, as well as food service professionals outside of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, who wanted to learn from Parkhurst at this year’s conference.  “We are happy to offer our knowledge and years of experience in food service sustainability, a commitment that Eat’n Park Hospitality Group made over 12 years ago through FarmSource, recognized in the contract food service industry as one of the top local purchasing programs.  Through FarmSource, our organization works with more than 200 local farmers and producers, and last year spent more than $18 million on local food purchases,” says Moore.

Moore will instruct a class on how to read and understand new food labels as well as focus on, for example, the differences between ultra-pasteurized milk, pasteurized milk and raw milk.  In addition to Moore, Mike Passanita, Parkhurst executive sous chef at St. Francis University, will provide a class on partnering and building relationships with local farmers; while Mike Galterio, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group food code specialist, will offer his expertise on creating HACCP guidelines when using for example, home-grown foods. For more information on the Sustainability in the Food Service Industry sessions, please see details here: http://www.pasafarming.org/conference2012/track_4.htm

According to Katie Stauter, Cura Hospitality director of dining services at Pickering Manor in Newtown, PA, “What I am hoping to get out of my attendance on a professional level is to learn what direction to take to serve sustainable meals in our industry.  Along the way I hope to pick up some tricks on how to do so within the budgetary parameters that we face in our industry.  My goal on a personal level is to find out how causes like PASA need "my" support.  Whether it be through donations, home gardens, small scale composting, etc.  I want to ensure my children, and my children's children, are able to enjoy the world as I remember it when I was younger.” 

Many Parkhurst attendees who attended last year have applied what they learned to their operations.  For example, Scott Rattan, executive chef at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, said that while attending a past PASA cheese making 101 session for busy chefs, gave him inspiration to create things in the kitchen that he would not have made like fresco cheeses, yogurts and even smoking your own sausages. “When you see somebody do it and make the cheese in one hour, you realize that you can do this too,” says Rattan, who also posts signage to let students know that he has made the cheese.  “It falls in line with Parkhurst’s gold standards where everything is prepared from scratch.”

While Parkhurst partners with several local and Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farmers, purchasing from a CSA on-campus is a unique venture for past conference attendee Dan Dooley, who is the executive chef at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.  “What I learned at the conference was how to find more creative ways to incorporate local foods into the menu,” says Chef Dooley, who now purchases shares of honey from apiaries installed at Chatham’s sustainable Eden Hall Campus.  When he collects his CSA shares, Chef Dooley uses the honey to prepare baked goods like baklava, as a marinade for grilling chicken and even incorporates the fresh variety of herbs like basil, chives and oregano grown in the campus greenhouse, to make a honey Dijon vinaigrette. “It’s all about learning how to support local agriculture, helping the campus to become more sustainable, all while giving the students the opportunity to enjoy the fresh ‘fruits’ of our labor.”

Parkhurst and Cura dining teams will continue to attend PASA conferences where they will learn new trends in farming and food preparation to bring a more sustainable and farm-fresh dining experience to their guests. “Knowing your source, where your food comes from and making good use of fresh and wholesome locally-grown food on our menus every day creates a win/win for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group and the guests we serve,” says Moore.

Brian Snyder, PASA executive director, says “The Sustainability in the Foodservice Industry session is an important effort to bridge the gap between chefs and farmers, building upon our conference theme Breaking Ground for a New Agriculture: Cultivating Versatility and Resilience. Putting farmers and chefs in the same room where they can gather new ideas and network not only improves their businesses, it also helps our members promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all.”

About Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

With nearly 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable organizations in the U.S. Through business support and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy and public education, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.  PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries in February.   For more information, visithttp://www.pasafarming.org/conference2012/index.cfm.

About Parkhurst Dining Services:

A member of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Parkhurst Dining Services provides exceptional culinary experiences and dining services to guests at the finest educational institutions, corporations and cultural destinations in its marketing region.  Our foundation is built on personal relationships and exceeding the expectations of our guests and associates every day.   Join us for a farm-fresh and sustainable dining experience. www.parkhurstdining.com

Contacts:

Grace Hoyer, Public Relations
Parkhurst Dining 
610-282-0916, office
610-349-0844, cell
ghoyer@parkhurstdining.com