HANOVER – As summer vegetables and fruit begin to ripen in home gardens and on farms throughout Pennsylvania, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding encouraged residents to make locally produced food the centerpiece of their summer gatherings as he worked as a “Chef for a Day” alongside Andrew Little, executive chef of the Sheppard Mansion in Hanover, York County.
Redding and Little used food from local farms and prepared it for diners at the Sheppard Mansion. The two visited the restaurant’s beef operation and kitchen garden, as well Rettland Farms, Gettysburg, Adams County, which supplies pork, chicken and eggs. Redding also helped prepare farm-to-table meals for the restaurant’s dinner patrons and local farmers who supplied the foods.
“Pennsylvanians are fortunate to enjoy diverse and affordable agricultural products, thanks to our hard working farmers,” said Redding. “Locally grown food is fresh and delicious and lends itself well to easy-to-prepare daily meals in our homes and to culinary works of art created by talented chefs.”
Redding encouraged consumers to look for the PA Preferred logo when shopping or dining out to be sure they are using the finest Pennsylvania products.
PA Preferred is the Department of Agriculture’s branding program that helps consumers easily identify locally sourced products through the program’s logo, which is a gold checkmark in a blue keystone.
There are more than 4,000 member locations enrolled in PA Preferred, including farmers markets, restaurants, food processors, grocery chains, craft breweries and wineries.
“Any day you visit a farm and buy a product, then turn around and work alongside an award-winning chef to prepare a masterful dish for that same farmer using his or her own ingredients – that’s a good day,” said Redding of today’s experience.
For a searchable listing of PA Preferred members and recipes featuring PA Preferred ingredients, visit www.papreferred.com.