Chefs Create New Organization, Ground Up, To Promote Farm To Table

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You might think there are plenty of ways Chicago chefs are already involved in promoting closer connections between farmers and city folk when it comes to food, and they are, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mission for another one. Ground Up, which calls itself “a chef farmer community,” grew out of a Chef Camp put on last year by Spence Farms in association with chefs such as Stephanie Izard, in which chefs participated in butchery, farming and other forms of food education. That led chef Thomas Leavitt of White Oak Gourmet, who’s on the Spence Farms Foundation board, and some Chicago chefs including SMarianne Sundquist, Jared Van Camp, Chris Pandel and others to the desire to create a permanent organization promoting farmer-chef collaboration. Ground Up will launch its first program, an indoor farmer’s market held at Browntrout to help incubate small family farms selling directly in the city, on May 1. But before then, you can help Ground Up get off the ground (so to speak) at a fundraiser to be held at Spacca Napoli on Monday April 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be food tasting stations from restaurants including Anteprima, Browntrout, C-House, Floriole, MK, The Bedford, Vincent and Wood, as well as vendors from Mess Hall & Co., Rich Chocolates, Las Manas, Rare Tea Cellar, and Green Grocer. August Hill Winery and Two Brothers Brewery will have beverages on hand, and there will be a silent auction with items donated by a wide range of well-known chefs including Stephanie Izard and Heather Terhune. For tickets and more information, go here.

Chefs Create New Organization, Ground Up, To Promote Farm To Table