Chef to head­line plan­ning con­fer­ence

Record Observer - - News -

STEVENSVILLE — The Eastern Shore Land Conser vancy has re­leased the agenda for its 17th an­nual Plan­ning Con­fer­ence to be held on Thurs­day, Nov. 10, at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club.

The event, “Food Fight! Healthy? Sus­tain­able? Re­al­is­tic?” is an all-day af­fair that boasts an im­pres­sive list of na­tional and re­gional speak­ers. At­ten­dees should ex­pect to be en­gaged in in­ter­ac­tive ses­sions with the goal of help­ing to dis­cover what an op­ti­mal food sys­tem based on Eastern Shore agri­cul­ture would look like in the fu­ture.

Wood­berry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde, Bal­ti­more’s first win­ner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef (Mid-At­lantic), was re­cently con­firmed as a speaker at the con­fer­ence. Gjerde’s pre­sen­ta­tion, en­ti­tled “From My Per­spec­tive — My Take on Healthy, Lo­cal and Sus­tain­able,” will pro­vide an in­formed view of what a cel­e­brated chef in a ma­jor metropoli­tan restau­rant goes through on a daily ba­sis in or­der to pre­pare and serve healthy, lo­cally sourced food.

In­ter­na­tional speaker Dr. Solomon H. Katz, di­rec­tor of the Krog­man Growth Cen­ter and pro­fes­sor of An­thro­pol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, will speak at the con­fer­ence, pre­sent­ing “A Bio­cul­tural Per­spec­tive on Food, Food Waste and Be­yond.” Other speak­ers in­clude Amer­i­can Univer­sity Pro­fes­sor T. Gar­rett Graddy Lovelace, Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Foun­da­tion Sci­en­tist Beth McGee, FRESHFARM Co-Founder Ann Yon­ders, and more.

Home to some of the re­gion’s richest soil, the Shore pro­duces a sub­stan­tial por­tion of Mary­land’s wheat, soy­beans and corn, as well as poul­try. Whether some­one op­er­ates a farm, food-re­lated busi­ness or sim­ply do the food shop­ping for their family and would like to know more about where it comes from, this con­fer­ence will leave at­ten­dees bet­ter in­formed to make de­ci­sions that can pos­i­tively af­fect the re­gion’s over­all health and sus­tain­abil­ity.

One is­sue that will be ex­am­ined dur­ing “Food Fight!” is that of food waste. Whether in the pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion, con­sump­tion or waste man­age­ment as­pects of its life­span, the mil­lions of pounds of wasted food our sys­tem pro­duces has be­come a hot topic.

“It’s shock­ing to learn that a re­gion with so much agri­cul­ture has se­vere food ac­cess is­sues,” ESLC Pro­gram As­sis­tant and con­fer­ence or­ga­nizer Rachel Ro­man said. “Ap­prox­i­mately 40 per­cent of the food that is pro­duced goes to waste be­fore it even reaches the gro­cery store. Dr. Katz will talk ex­ten­sively about this prob­lem as it of­ten goes un­no­ticed in our daily lives.”

In­ter­ested at­ten­dees can reg­is­ter for $55 on­line at eslc.org/events. Stu­dents are en­cour­aged to at­tend the con­fer­ence with a dis­counted ticket price of $25.

ESLC has in­cluded free ad­mis­sion to a screen­ing of the food-based doc­u­men­tary “In De­fense of Food,” based on the book by Michael Pol­lan, with each con­fer­ence ticket. Each screen­ing will be held the even­ing prior to “Food Fight!” at the ESLC Cen­ter in Eas­ton. Tick­ets to the film screen­ing may be pur­chased sep­a­rately for $10.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the con­fer­ence, con­tact ESLC Pro­gram As­sis­tant Rachel Ro­man at 410-690-4603, ext. 156, or rro­man@eslc.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Wood­berry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde, who will speak dur­ing the Eastern Shore Land Con­ser­vancy’s 17th an­nual Plan­ning Con­fer­ence on Nov. 10, was a first place win­ner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef (Mid-At­lantic).

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