Oregonian Wins Organic Valley “Celebrate Organic" Recipe Contest

La Farge, WI
September 17, 2009
Contact P.R. Elizabeth Horton
work 207-838-0084 La Farge, WI

Prize Includes On-farm Dinner of Local, Organic Food Prepared by Local Chef Kevin Gibson

Gray Herzberg of Portland, Ore., was declared the Grand Prize winner of Organic Valley's “Celebrate Organic” Recipe Contest for his entry of “Green Cakes,” his original recipe featuring locally grown kale. Herzberg's recipe was selected from hundreds of entries from across the United States in Organic Valley’s search for a recipe that demonstrated innovative, wholesome and delicious use of organic ingredients. As the grand prize winner, Herzberg will enjoy an early fall feast at a local Organic Valley farm in Monmouth, Ore., prepared by celebrated Portland chef Kevin Gibson of Evoe.

Herzberg's recipe for Green Cakes was born of the need to answer one urgent question: what to do with all the kale that appeared weekly in his CSA box? After making his fill of quiches and gratins, Herzberg devised a simple and delicious solution: savory kale pancakes. The recipe is not only tasty and healthful, but also thrifty. Thanks to the “Celebrate Organic” contest, the recipe has now grown from a Herzberg family favorite to filling the plates of families from coast to coast.

Herzberg says he eats organic produce, meat, and dairy whenever he can "out of respect for the Earth." He also notes that he values the richer, truer flavor of organic products, as well as the diversity of species that organic farming encourages.

Herzberg moved with his pregnant wife, Ali Conlin, M.D., to Portland from New York City a year ago when his wife took a job as a research oncologist at the Providence Cancer Center. When his wife went back to work after having their son, Herzberg became a stay-at-home dad--and the family's primary cook. Since then, he's embraced the role with gusto, also becoming a self-taught canner and food gardener.

As part of the grand prize, Herzberg and three guests will celebrate at Double J Jerseys, an organic dairy farm in Monmouth, Ore. The farm is home to Jon and Juli Bansen, farmer-owners of Organic Valley cooperative, their children, and 165 Jersey cows that graze on 550 acres of pasture. The private dinner will be prepared by Evoe chef, Kevin Gibson, formerly of Castagna restaurant in Portland, using organic ingredients freshly harvested from the Bansen farm. Gibson has been widely recognized for his sensitive transformation of local ingredients into mouth-watering dishes. In addition to the farm-based dinner, Herzberg won a year of Organic Valley’s award winning butter.

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 1,333 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $527.8 million in 2008 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 www.twitter.com/organicvalley and Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Organic-Valley/20674850824.

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