The Zero Waste Family Dinner at Lincoln Hill Farms is part of the Canandaigua Chamber's AlFrescoFLX project
CANANDAIGUA — The opportunity to prepare a bruschetta and savory corn pudding — and then enjoy a meal and conversation with those you’re preparing it for — is an attractive proposition.
And so of course Julie Woloson, owner and operator of the Café Sol Catering and Party House, wanted to be part of the dinner Monday night at Lincoln Hill Farms.
The end-of-summer dinner — a similar event was held in the spring — is part of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce’s AlFrescoFLX project to support the farm-to-table movement here.
The Zero Waste Family Dinner brings the delicious ingredients this area has to offer and the chefs who make culinary magic with them to a family-type dinner atmosphere.
“It’s a collective force,” Woloson said. “We’re all neighbors.”
Lincoln Hill Farms is playing host and taking care of the pig roast for the occasion, but favorite spots like Nolan’s on the Lake, Simply Crepes, New York Kitchen and Newbury Park Pastries are supplying a few dishes to round out the meal.
Heron Hill, Star Cider, Red Jacket Orchards, and the Dalai Java are providing beverages to complement the meal.
Samantha Buyskes, chef at Bottomless Brewing in Geneva, is preparing a kale salad, with roasted delicata squash, red onion, toasted pepitas, apple cider ingredient and all sorts of other local ingredients.
Buyskes is looking forward to sampling other signature dishes as well as reconnecting with people she’s worked with and meeting those she hasn’t.
“As a chef, we don’t get a lot of opportunities to collaborate with each other,” Buyskes said.
The dinner also has another “green” twist to it besides the salad.
Guests — about 70 had signed up for the Monday night dinner as of Friday — are asked to bring their own tableware, drinkware and utensils to cut down on waste. The goal, after all, is to go for a zero-waste dinner, as the name suggests.
This has been a hot topic in the Canandaigua community of late. Some may remember the city explored a ban on single-use plastic straws last year, then followed up earlier in the year by discussing a ban on single-use plastics — straws, utensils, trays and the like.
Nothing has been enacted as of yet, although different stakeholders have been brought before city leaders to talk about the issue — pro and con.
The issue is a hot topic in the culinary community as well.
Buyskes is a member of the Chefs Collaborative, an organization dedicated to improving the food system. One way is through local food sourcing, for example.
Woloson said she is using farm stand tomatoes in her appetizer. Chances are, many local products are grown without or with limited use of pesticides, Woloson said.
And she knows where they come from, she said. Because they’re local, the tomatoes are accessed easily and the energy required in getting them to the table is lessened and carbon footprint is reduced as well. Good for the environment and good tasting.
“The flavors come out so much more,” Woloson said.
Another way, Buyskes said, is enlisting the food customer into the process, such as through reducing or eliminating waste. In other words, there is a lot to like with this dinner concept.
“It’s very appealing to us as well,” Buyskes said.
If for nothing else, the topic of sustainability and food should help break the ice for dinner table conversations, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ethan Fogg.
In between bites of dinner, that is.
“I’m sure it’s all going to be delicious,” Buyskes said.
Doors for the dinner open at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at Lincoln Hill Farms, 3792 state Route 247. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $50; $25 for children accompanying parents. Visit alfrescoflx.com to register.