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Report from the Triangle: Farm to Plate Benefit

farm2plate11.jpgLocal chefs, producers, and foodies kept cool under a big tent at last week’s Sustainable Food Center benefit, but the weather and the excitement were hot. There was plenty to eat, from ceviche by Todd Duplechan of Trio at the Four Seasons to cold cucumber soup from Fino’s Eric Lucas. Except for the random South African wine label, local was, indeed, the theme of the evening, and the bounty of central Texas didn’t disappoint. A few tidbits and highlights:

-Tracy Claros would love to use local eggs in her Sticky Toffee Pudding Company products — and she did use them when she first started out. But today she can’t find a supplier who can keep up with her demand, which she estimates to be around 200 dozen per week!

-Chef Robert Rhoades, who currently works under Jeffrey Blank at Hudson’s on the Bend, says he’s closer than he expected to be to opening his own restaurant — in which he plans to heavily focus on local ingredients.

-All in One Bake Shop was able to source even cornmeal from the within the state, through the South Texas Milling Company, for the outrageous miniature Rosemary Lemon Cornmeal cupcakes it served along several other, similarly mouthwatering varieties.

-I finally met Rebecca Rather, chef and proprietress of Rebecca’s Table in Fredericksburg, where she goes to great lengths to use local, farm-fresh ingredients — including a full plate of the outstanding goat cheese made by Chrissy Omo of CKC Farms in Blanco.

-Relative newcomer to the Austin restaurant scene Primizie Osteria put on an impressive spread including Texas cheeses, veggies, and other antipasti.  Apparently this east-side trattoria works a good bit of local emphasis into its regular menu, too.

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