Story posted April 17, 2010
In honor of Earth Day and this spring's campus-wide Climate Days event, dining services will be hosting a Locavore Dinner on Thursday, April 22nd from 5-7pm at both Moulton Union and Thorne Hall. Each dining hall will feature a menu of local Maine foods from Gulf of Maine fish chowder to homemade kielbasa braised in Maine beer to Maine apple crisp. Volunteer student hosts will also be interspersed throughout Thorne Hall during dinner in order to facilitate discussion about local food and Bowdoin's climate commitment. Diners at Thorne will also have a chance to watch videos from the "How are You Committed" film contest where members of campus submitted 3-minute films on sustainability at Bowdoin.
This is the second annual Locavore dinner, and dinning services has expanded it since last year's success. In 2009, Thorne Hall featured a local menu, while Moulton Union provided a standard one. Thorne Hall's over 1,100 guests last year prompted the expansion of the menu to include Moulton Union this year, as well. Dining service expects between 1,700 and 1,800 guests between the two dining halls at this April's dinner, and the necessary volume of local food is part of the challenge of the event. "Before we plan the menu, maybe four to five weeks in advance, we have to contact our local vendors to see what's available," says Ken Cardone, the Associate Director and Executive Chef of Dining Services. "Especially this time of year, at the end of the season, it's mostly root vegetables, cabbage, dried beans, things like that. It's all based on availability." Maine onions, for instance, were not available in the volume that dining services required. Luckily other items-like the 250 pounds of potatoes needed for the event-were. "Everybody has to get accustomed to being in touch with the producers, incorporating their feedback, when using local foods," adds Cardone. The dinner is a great way to promote Bowdoin's commitment to sustainability, highlight dining services' dedication to using local foods both during the Locavore dinner and year round, and of course eat some delicious food in good company.
For complete Locavore Dinner menus for both dining halls visit the Dining Service home page and click the Earth Day PDF menus under "Announcements".
Photo of the Maine blueberry pie is republished with permission by Mark McGranaghan '09 from his blog bowdoingourmet.com The photo was taken at a "Maine Theme Meal" in Thorne Hall in 2006.
"Before we plan the menu, maybe four to five weeks in advance, we have to contact our local vendors to see what's available" - Ken Cardone, Associate Director/Executive Chef