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Thursday, Sep 1, 2016

Berkshire’s Farm Center Chefs Showcase Talents at Berkshire Grown Tasting Dinner

Berkshire’s Farm Center Chefs Showcase Talents at Berkshire Grown Tasting Dinner

CANAAN N.Y. — Chefs from one of New York’s most prestigious child welfare agencies will be serving up maple and mustard glazed pulled pork and fresh, late-season coleslaw at the annual Berkshire Grown Harvest Supper, Sept. 19 at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington. Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth recently switched its residential campus in Canaan, N.Y. to a menu focusing on whole foods, locally sourced where possible.

“Taking part in Berkshire Grown is a natural part of what we are trying to accomplish,” explained Laura Lipoufski, Executive Chef and Food Service Coordinator at Berkshire Farm Center. “Eating fresh, high quality food is important to the health of the youth that we serve. It also connects Berkshire Farm Center more directly to its neighbors.”

The pulled pork glaze will feature maple syrup produced on campus by students working in Berkshire Farm Center’s nationally recognized Workforce Development Program. It also will feature produce from Bittersweet Farm in Pittsfield.

Fresh food to heal
Lipoufski recently joined the team at Berkshire, but her devotion to education, healthy food, and farm-to-table sourcing already has made an impact across the campus. “We are rewinding back to whole foods,” said Lipoufski. “We’re making nearly everything fresh: chicken pot pie, fresh turkey with stuffing and cranberries, egg sandwiches on croissants for breakfast—and we’re getting great feedback from students.”

  “As a chef and a mom, I know that fresh whole foods improve children’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Fresh, whole foods also taste better, and for the most part, they cost less,” she explained. Berkshire Farm Center is close to local organic farms, which Lipoufski said makes it easy to provide fresh food for students on campus. “I’m fortunate to have a lot of connections to farmers that can supply our needs, both through my previous work at Canyon Ranch, and through Bittersweet Farm—my family’s farm in Pittsfield."

Local sourcing, local impact
Both Lipoufski and Sous Chef Jason Echard believe in teaching students where their food comes from and choosing to source locally. Many Berkshire students hail from urban environments and have never been to a farm or seen food growing.

  “We can show our students where their food comes from and have them meet the people who grow it,” she explained. “The students who work in our kitchen or who take part in our cooking activities learn how to prepare food from scratch, which will help them eat healthier and for less money in the future. And by purchasing from local farms, we directly support people who live and work in our community.”

  Lipoufski and Echard will represent Berkshire among such outstanding restaurants and culinary hubs as John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, Williams College, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and Barrington Brewery. Tickets are $85 person and $75 for Berkshire Grown members. Please call 413.528.0041 for more event details.

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From Plattsburgh to Long Island and Buffalo to Canaan, Berkshire Farm Center leads New York State in providing innovative programs designed to strengthen children and families so they can live safely, independently, and productively in their home communities. In addition to its nationally recognized residential treatment center in Canaan, N.Y., Berkshire provides a full continuum of care from family preservation services delivered in the home, to foster care, group homes, as well as secure detention and drug and alcohol treatment. For more information about Berkshire Farm Center, call 518-781-4567.

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