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"Restaurant Week" Highlights Locally Produced Food

November 29, 2017 06:00 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Restaurants in Rochester are looking to bridge the gap between consumers and locally produced foods. 

They are doing it by hosting the city's first official “Restaurant Week.”

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Chris Schad, a co-owner of The Bee Shed will be one of the people who will have products featured during the event.

"I’ve got a science background. It seemed like a fun thing to do. So I started that and I had more honey than I knew what to do with so I sold it to family and friends and then it sort of grew from there," said Chris. 

Chris describes his local beekeeping operation based in Rochester and surrounding areas as a hobby that got out of hand.

His honey already used and sold in local restaurants, breweries and stores are bringing a sweet twist to food made for the event going on until Saturday.  

Brad Smith, who handles public relations for the People’s Food Co-op is the organizer for “Restaurant Week”, "The idea is to really have a two market avenue for these local producers and to help out the smaller startups. And get them to the consumer in a very delicious way because we're working directly with chefs."

More than a dozen restaurants are already using locally grown or made products as a way to highlight some of the great food in the area.

The event is also paired with "Feast Local Foods" festival this weekend, where consumers will get to meet those behind the products.

"If we just distill life into a series of transactions and we take out of it relationships, I think we lose a lot. Growing local, producing local, supporting local enriches those relationships," said Chris. 

Its enrichment Brad Smith says keeps the entire city thriving, "it's sustainable but it's also economically responsible because the dollar you spend is going directly to the farmer and keeping that dollar local."

And according to Chris, without the backing of consumers, there could be consequences. 

"We lose that vibrate economy and we become more dependent on a fewer number of businesses and that at the end of the day makes our local economy more at risk because we have less diversification of the economy itself,” said Chris.

Restaurant week will wrap up this Saturday at Mayo Civic Center with the "Feast Local Foods" festival.

It goes from 10 a.m till 4 p.m. and tickets are available at the door.


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