Organic Valley Partners with Chicago Restaurateurs to Honor 40th Anniversary of Earth Day at Tables Throughout the City
As communities across the nation prepare to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, the farmer-owned cooperative Organic Valley is partnering with four local Chicago chefs to embrace the spring tradition, offering a weekís worth of Earth Dinners.
Acclaimed Chicago chefs will offer special Earth Dinner meals to raise funds for Chefs Collaborative, the leading nonprofit network of chefs and farmers that fosters a sustainable food system through advocacy, education and collaboration. The Midwest dairy farmers of Organic Valley will match every dollar donated by each restaurant partner.
"The concept for Earth Dinners grew out of a desire to start a tradition that connects citizens more meaningfully with their food, who grew it and particularly, the impact of food production on human health and the health of the earth," said Theresa Marquez, founder of Earth Dinner and chief marketing executive for Organic Valley. "The dinner table is a powerful place. The hope is that when friends, family, farmers and chefs join together with organic, local and seasonal foods, magic happens, story telling starts and we experience the remarkable role that food plays in our lives and our culture."
To kick off the Chicago celebration, Vie (4471 Lawn Avenue, Western Springs) will offer a special three-course menu in honor of Earth Week on April 19, 21, 22 and 23. The menu and pairings will support local farmers and artisans. To make reservations, call 708-246-2082 or visit www.vierestaurant.com.
Chef Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions Supper Club is offering an Earth Day dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20at Mac and Cheese Productions (3320 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago). The restaurant will be donating $10 from the price of the meal to Chefs Collaborative, andOrganic Valley will match the donation. Friedman plans to serve a five-course dinner using locally-produced foods with custom brewed beers from Chicagoís Pipeworks Brewing. Call City Provisions Supper Club for reservations: 773-293-2489 and for additional information, visit www.cityprovisions.com/supper.htm.
On Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day), SugarToad (2139 CityGate Lane, Naperville) will host an Earth Day dinner with a special menu starting at 5:30 p.m. SugarToad is a regional American restaurant featuring a farm-focused menu inspired by the highest quality products to market. For reservations call 630-778-TOAD or visit www.sugartoad.com.
Heritage Prairie Farm (2N308 Brundige Road, Elburn) will host an Earth Day Farm Dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 23. Heritage Farmís Earth Dinner is kid-friendly, complete with free babysitting, and activities for the kids include watching a movie, playing games and eating a kid-friendly dinner. To view the menu (complete with a Zero Footprint Tini) or to purchase tickets, call 630-443-8253 or visit www.hpmfarm.com.
Organic Valley also encourages Chicago families and friends, schools, and nonprofit organizations to host their own Earth Dinners. Visit www.earthdinner.org/resources to download a free toolkit and a PDF of the new Earth Dinner Book containing helpful tips, quotes and thought-provoking questions to spark meaningful conversation among guests.
Earth Dinner is supported by a broad-based coalition of organizations including Beyond Pesticides, Bioneers, Chefs Collaborative, Healthy Child Healthy World, Earth Day Network, Earth Pledge, Eco Education, Ecotrust, Environmental Working Group, Heifer International, New York Restoration Project, Slow Food USA, Small Planet Institute, Social Venture Network, OM Organics, The Organic Center, Organic Consumers Association, and Waterkeeper Alliance.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,652 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $520 million in 2009 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative's farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley .
Founded in 1993, Chefs Collaborative is the nationís leading network of chefs and members of the greater culinary community committed to sourcing and cooking with local, sustainable and delicious ingredients. For more information, visit the Chefs Collaborative website, www.chefscollaborative.org.