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Raising a New Crop of Farm to Table Chefs

By Carrie Wunsch | Reuters

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Culinary School of the Rockies (CSR) is pioneering a new approach to culinary education through their Farm to Table Externship. CSR is the only culinary school in the nation to offer an innovative five-week off-campus Externship that takes students to work on farms, wineries, ranches and restaurants, in Colorado's breathtaking North Fork Valley (near Aspen) and in Boulder County.

A new crop of culinary students are learning firsthand how to source local ingredients from farmers, growers and producers. The farming experience is topped off by an apprenticeship with acclaimed Farm to Table Colorado chefs in restaurants such as Fruition in Denver, Six89 in Carbondale, and The Kitchen in Boulder.

"Working directly with the farmers provides our students a real life glimpse of the farm to table philosophy from people who live and breathe it everyday," said Culinary School of the Rockies Chef Instructor Adam Dulye. "Our students graduate with extraordinary respect for ingredients, because they experience hands-on the efforts and emotions involved in growing vegetables and fruits, and raising and processing lambs, chickens and pigs. We want them to develop a passion for savoring and serving the freshest and best-tasting ingredients available."

The Farm to Table Externship, was developed by CSR in response to the growing movement in sustainability, and is a natural extension of the school's values. Since its founding in 1991, the school has been committed to fresh and innovative culinary education, including keeping a "green commitment" by actively purchasing local, fresh products and ingredients whenever available and by recycling and composting its waste products year-round.

"I am really looking forward to working with the animals, and even participating in the lamb slaughter. I want to know exactly where my food comes from and how it gets to my plate," says Kade Ferachi, a Culinary Arts student who is eagerly awaiting the externship. Culinary Arts Students will spend 10 days in September working at Zephyros Farm, Abundant Life, High Wire Ranch, Jack Rabbit Hill Winery and with artisan producers to help harvest and learn about sustainable food systems.

The school will host a Celebration Farm to Table Dinner on Tuesday, September 15, at Zephyros Farm. The dinner is located outside, in the fields surrounded by lamb pastures, acres of flowers, and rows and rows of lush vegetables. One long dining table is covered in a crisp white table cloth and set for 100 people. The students are preparing: Basil Marinated Melon Skewers with Crispy Ham; Pork Belly Sliders with Caramelized Peach Jam served with Summer Onion Rings; Savory Bread Pudding with Goat Cheese and Bacon Lardons, and much more. Tickets are $75, and available here

Farm to Table is a broad trend toward supporting local, organic, and natural farms and producers. "This is not a passing fad in the culinary world, rather, it is a lasting cultural shift," says Joan Brett, Culinary School of the Rockies' CEO. "We want our graduates to appreciate and understand the intricacies and challenges of sourcing and serving local, seasonal food. It makes them more marketable, and I believe, they will be the next leaders in guiding our nation's restaurant, grocery and hospitality industries in creating a new future for restaurants, businesses and farming communities."

Culinary School of the Rockies offers intense, short-term culinary and pastry programs that fully immerse students in classic and cutting-edge techniques, with an emphasis on using local and seasonal ingredients. Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), CSR is located at 637 South Broadway, Suite H, Boulder (303.494.7988). For further information, visit

SOURCE Culinary School of the Rockies

Carrie Wunsch, Culinary School of the Rockies, Office +1-303-494-7988, Cell +1-303-579-8198

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