Nutrition Foundation Serves up World’s Finest Conference Food
by Kimberly Hartke, Weston A. Price Foundation Publicist
Last year, Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune blogged about Amanda Love’s incredible menu for the Wise Traditions 2009 conference. For the second year in a row, Amanda Love of Austin, Texas is serving as the Weston A. Price Conference Chef and advisor. I thought you would be interested in what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to dish up nourishing traditional meals in a large conference setting. So, this week I interviewed Amanda, who does business as The Barefoot Cook.
Wise Traditions 2010 is being held this year in the heart of Amish country, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. It takes months of coordination and planning to source the food. Amanda works closely with Cathy Raymond on the food plan.
Cathy is a consultant to WAPF and FTCLDF who solicits and organizes food donations from vendors and farmers all over North America. Communicating with an Amish farmer is often done by voice mail or mailing a letter as they shun modern technology like computers and the internet.
Hundreds of boxes arrive in the conference kitchen. The organizing and inventory ends up being quite a challenge.
Conference hotel kitchen staff don’t usually work with high quality ingredients sourced directly from small farms. That is where Amanda Love’s role is important. She arrives a week early at the hotel and conducts briefings and training sessions with the culinary staff.
Last year in Chicago, Amanda lectured over 70 kitchen staff and taught them about the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and the health benefits of nutrient dense foods. She reminded them that their french culinary school training was the ‘real deal’ and that those techniques are what are used in dealing with farm fresh foods.
Amanda said, that “The kitchen staff came alive with excitement, and many, being immigrants, recognized that I was describing their homeland cuisine, their food traditions.” Even the dish washers in the conference kitchen participated in the training and Amanda provided all of them Weston Price Foundation brochures and literature as part of their orientation to working with nutrient dense foods.
Amanda found that they seemed grateful to have their native cultural foodways respected. A number of them admitted that they were led to believe that their heritage foods were not the best, once they came to America.
This year, for Wise Traditions 2010, Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions cookbook and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation played an active role in planning the Wise Traditions 2010 Conference Menu , and Amanda advised her on how to scale the menu for a conference hotel kitchen, and added flair to Sally’s menu by suggesting finishing touches.
Amanda will be in the kitchen with Executive Chef, Carlos Gomez in the Radisson Hotel at the Valley Forge Convention Plaza. She will cook right alongside Chef Gomez and his talented kitchen staff. Chef Gomez is also inviting local culinary students to work with him in preparing the Wise Traditions meals.
“They might never have the opportunity to cook with food like this again in their entire career,” he exclaimed to Amanda.
I asked Amanda about the highlights of this year’s menu. She replied, “Friday at lunch we are serving an amazing ceviche made with shrimp donated by Vital Choice Wild Seafood.”
She added, “Chef Gomez, a native of Puerto Rico, is really excited about the Pennsylvania Pork Cracklings (pork skin cooked in lard) because in his homeland, this is a common ‘street vendor’ food.”
Amanda also is looking forward to the Weston Price Cheesecake with Organic Pastures raw almond crust, the huge array of cheese and charcuterie and the Beef Tataki, prepared with grass-fed beef donated by U.S. Wellness Meats, which will be served with organic cultured garlic flowers donated by Caldwell Bio Fermentation.
For more details, or to find more of the food donors, visit the recipe page for Wise Traditions 2010-The Politics of Food: Selected Recipes, Ingredients and Donors.
This article is based on my interview with Amanda Love, The Barefoot Cook who is a seasoned chef working with alternative ingredients and local farm fresh sources, even for large crowds. Visit her website, TheBarefootCook.com.
Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation.Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of renumeration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.