Friday, October 26, 2012

A thought about Taste of Unity

On the drive home from the Taste of Unity I reflect on the evening and think how great it is to have such awesome community support. My thoughts drift to how a successful fundraiser brings us closer to our goals in the garden, but then I start to think about the bigger picture. Our mission statement of not just providing healthy food, but also about education, and growing community.
I think what makes a successful event is that can raise money while achieving our core mission then its a win for everyone. My conclusion is that yes we did achieve both goals. The theme of the evening as I spoke with many of the guest was how it was so fun meeting new people, and maybe even sitting a a table full of people they did not know. Education yes of course the Ivy Tech Students learning from all the other chefs. Everyone learning more about Unity Gardens, local food and more. What a great night we could not be any prouder of our community over 400 people made it out to enjoy a great evening.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thanks ACF & Ivy Tech

What an Awesome team donating to the Unity Gardens Taste of Unity Harvest Celebratioin !!

Our booth will be consisting of strong forces in our food community including the South Bend ACF Association, ACF Chef and Child Initiative and our local Ivy Tech Community College Culinary Arts students. We come together many times in the community including events such as ArtBeat Downtown SouthBend, Michiana Chili Cookoff, Junior League Chef Showcase, Taste of Unity Harvest Celebration, Holiday Culinary dinner for the public as well as on-campus luncheons provided by Ivy Tech students. Chef and Child provides after school events in our local schools teaching all about healthy options using fun games and making a snack. Each group has their own strengths and responsibilities but when culinary talent, knowledge, creativity come together the possibilities are endless. Our partnership with Unity Gardens started when Sara, visited the Nutrition class at Ivy Tech and shared how Unity Gardens began and how it has grown. We look forward to celebrating the uniqueness we all bring to growing our own community, together.
The ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Association is dedicated to promoting the professional image of cooks and chefs through education among culinarians at all levels - from apprentice to master. A non-profit organization, the American Culinary Federation's mission is to make a positive difference for culinarians through education, apprenticeship and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere. For more information on what our local South Bend chapter is doing, check out and keep up with us on Facebook -South Bend ACF Chefs & Cooks Association.

Chef and Child is all about educating children and families to understand proper nutrition through community-based initiative led by the American Culinary Federation chef members and to be the voice of the culinary industry in its fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity. Check out or contact Chef Alan Seidler at

Ivy Tech Culinary Arts Department is training individuals with a passion for food. The Hospitality Administration program provides the skills to be successful in the hospitality industry which is the largest private sector employer in the U.S offering exciting, fulfilling career options with excellent advancement opportunities for those who possess the passion and willingness to work hard and serve others. For more information please contact

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Uptown Kitchen / The Mark

Chef Brad Curtis grew up in Bay City, MI. He inherited his love for food from his Grandfather and older Brother, who encouraged him to always try new things, which he has passed this down to his own son today. Food was always been a big deal, bringing family and friends together.
Chef Brad began as a dishwasher and worked his way up through nearly every kitchen position. He has been an active part of the Michiana culinary scene for over a decade. Throughout his career, he has continued to express and explore through creativity in the kitchen, maintaining the ideal that food, friends, family and laughter should go hand in hand. He still keeps to the lesson from his grandfather Ted and is never afraid to try something new!
Spring Rolls !! Yum !

Center Plate

Chef Bio
Chef Tonya McGowan
I started in the restaurant industry 18 years ago as the salad bar girl at Wendy’s from there I worked as a food runner, busser, and started working on the cooks line at Spaghetti’s Italian Kitchen.  After starting the ACF Apprentice program in 2000 I worked in many more establishments from Marriott Hotels, local restaurants, to Dining Service Director in senior living community. Currently I am Executive Chef for the Palais Royale since November 2011. I love the culinary business, being able to create edible beauty as well as being a part of a community.
Executive Chef Tonya McGowans menu will be Kale and Jonathan apple salad with fried pancetta and honey coated pumpkin seeds.



Fiddler's Hearth

Look at one of the chef's cooking at Taste of Unity
Locally born and raised, Chef Tony Nafrady of Fiddler’s Hearth Public House is firmly entrenched in the modernist movement of farm to table cooking with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. This approach fits nicely with the Fiddler’s menu of Celtic cuisine based on traditional farm cooking from scratch. Chef Tony cut his culinary teeth in both fast-paced and fine dining restaurants (including Houlihans, Knollwood Country Club, and LaSalle Grill) and likes to take creative license with traditional dishes much like the new wave of chefs coming from Ireland and the UK.”
Fiddler's will be serving Smoked Butternut Squash with Grilled Onions wrapped in Garlic Steamed Kale with a Honey Mustard Cream.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Taste of Unity

Taste of Unity Harvest Celebration is just a little more then one week away. Its shaping up to be even better then last year. 9 chefs on board serving Tapas , a cash bar serving wine and beer, and a great selection of Auction . All for just a $25 donation. If you have not purchased your tickets you can get them at Marigolds Market, Junk Evolution , The Chicory or you can purchase them online at Ticket River
You can also e-mail us at
Phone 574-315-4361

Today's Featured Chef :

Chef Alan Seidler
Chef Alan is a Chef at Notre Dame, a member of the American Culinary Federation, and a friend of Unity Gardens . Chef Alan is also very active in the Chef and Child program. He has taught several cooking classes for us, he runs our Art Beat booth every year . Its always a treat to see what Chef Alan has in store.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Great Weekend

What a great weekend. A Unity Volunteer Sara Lowe decided on her own to have a volunteer day at the LaSalle Square which worked out perfect because we were away at fundraiser. Yes did I say great weekend. How great is it that a the folks at Auto Plus donated time on their day off to do a fundraiser for Unity Gardens. They donated oil changes, and it was a steady flow of folks getting oil changes all day long. At the same time over at Potawatomi Conservatories we were having our 2nd annual Pumpkin sale fundraiser in conjunction with the Conservatories thanks to an Anonymous Donor we have lots of Pumpkins to sell all month long.
      On Sunday it was a chance for us to give back . We participated in a Chili cookoff to help support the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, and the American Culinary Federation. Although our booth did not win the Chili competition we did win best decorated booth thanks to our awesome volunteers willing to wear vegetable costumes at our booth. What a fun weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Post Borrowed from the "Talking Sustainability Blog"

Posts on the food system, from student blog posts and essays assigned in Sustainability Studies course SUST-S360 Just Food: Sustainable Food Systems.

The Personal Journey of a Locavore

With tomatoes from my own garden mixed
 with tomatillos, onions, and hot peppers
grown by local farmers,
 I created a delicious, fire-roasted salsa