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No Rubber Chicken for Wise Traditions 2010

Amanda-Love

Chef Amanda Love Serves as Wise Traditions Conference Chef/Advisor

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.

Amanda-Love-Barefoot-Cook

The Barefoot Cook Trips the Food Fantastic

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.

Amanda-Love

Amanda Love

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.

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Comments

  1. What a wonderful story! I especially loved that part about immigants and their joy in cooking their native foods. janice

  2. Heather M says:

    Yes, I agree with Janice, what a wonderful story. And how exciting for the immigrants:) I just wish I was able to be there.

  3. I am really looking forward to the conference AND the wonderful food. It’s going to be awesome!

  4. I really need to fix my article on the Menu of the Year Award for this occasion by putting Amanda”s and Sally’s picture in it. I really blew it there.
    http://wholefoodusa.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/menu-of-the-year-awarded-the-weston-a-price-foundation-international-conference/

    I am near the world’s largest Amish settlement in Ohio and I will look forward to meeting everyone at the Conference, including those from Lancaster and surrounding counties– and feasting on all this food.

  5. Sounds yummy! However, King of Prussia is most certainly NOT in the heart of Amish Country – only 15 miles from Philadelphia and over 40 miles to Amish Country. It’s situated within 4 major highways and is home to one the largest shopping complexes in the US.

  6. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Kathie, I meant that figuratively, not literally. For those of us in the rest of the world, it seems to be!

  7. What a sweet feel-good story! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I publish an organic/sustainable magazine that is distributed throughout Texas. Amanda has been submitting delicious, healthy recipes for almost three years now. My readers love them! I have also had the pleasure of dining on Amandas cooking at many Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association conferences. It is amazing what this young lady can do with food! And on top of that, she is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

  9. Lisa Imerman says:

    I was very bummed I could not attend this year as I went to my first conference last year and loved it and the food was awesome.

    That part of PA is my favorite place on earth and I would have loved to attend.

    Thank you for the article.

    Lisa Imerman

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