Life happens around food®, especially during the holiday season. As a company and as individuals, we raised glasses and shared plates, and none were empty for long. Food is at the heart of what we do at Great Performances, and as we celebrated with food, we also take this opportunity to celebrate food.
Celebrating food means honoring food and ingredients and being mindful of the entire process from procurement through preparation to presentation. As a newcomer to Great Performances, I’ve been impressed with our commitment to sustainability evidenced by the thoughtful creation of seasonal recipes and menus and attention to the local and sustainable procurement of ingredients.
Jon Roode, Director of Purchasing at Great Performances, primarily sources foods from within our New York Tri-State Area, roughly outlined as a 400-mile radius by the 2008 Farm Act. A challenge he faces with our desire for local, fresh, organic produce, is being able to procure sufficient quantities with shorter notice than the farms can accommodate. Ordering too far in advance means we run the risk of wasting ingredients that aren’t required for that period’s menus. It’s a complicated algorithm that requires constant adjustment. He works closely with Chef de Cuisine Mark Russell, who develops our recipes and menus to take advantage of seasonal produce, food trends, and zero waste practices.
Not only do we source produce from our certified organic farm, Katchkie Farm, we’ve developed relationships with local farms including Mead Orchards out of Tivoli, NY; Minkus Family Farms out of New Hampton, NY; and Farmer Ground Flour out of Trumansburg, NY.
Some key successes include:
5,480 pounds of New York State apples and varieties include Cortland, Empire, Wine Sap, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin, Cameo, HoneyCrisp, Zestar, Jonagold, Golden Delicious
60 gallons of New York State maple syrup, about 95% of our total consumption
72% of cheeses come from New York State including McCadam White Cheddar, Nettle Meadow Kunik, Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Project X and Cornelia, Old Chatham Sheepherding Ewe’s Blue
775 pounds of New York State ground polenta, sourced from GrowNYC’s Regional Grain Project, along with Einkorn wheat berries for faro and rye berries
4,860 heads of Brooklyn grown Gotham Green lettuce
104,940 cage free eggs
26,767 pounds of chicken breast from Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff, NJ
As a premier caterer and hospitality company, we take seriously our commitment to local and sustainable food systems and look forward to continued successes in 2019.