Seven Denver chefs and a plethora of Warren Tech culinary students gathered under a white tent erected in the middle of ACRES Farm on the Warren Tech campus in Lakewood. The table was filled with plates and an avocado mouse sat in the middle of each one. Quickly, an assembly line was formed to plate the first course of a seven course meal being served that evening. Culinary students placed the cucumber tart created by Blake Edmunds, chef at Señor Bear in Denver, at an angle on the plates and promptly served then to guests sitting at long farm-style tables nestled between the crops.
“I think it’s a really awesome experience for when I get to work in a real kitchen,” said Warren Tech culinary student Miriam Garza, of her experience working with Denver chefs.
The dinner was a fundraiser for ACRES, the farm on Warren Tech High School’s campus. Back in 2012, ACRES was a vacant plot of land, but it has since grown into an organic farm and greenhouse used to help educate young farmers, culinary artists, and students about the cultivation and journey of food from soil to plate.
The three-acre farm, now in its fourth season, has provided a variety of high quality produce to Denver’s best chefs in its mission to spread the impact of sustainable farming.
“We buy as much produce as we can from them,” said Edmunds, one of seven chefs cooking seven courses for the fundraising dinner. “It’s a great way to inspire another generation of kids to be farmers or cooks and be involved in the food community as a whole. Programs like this are pretty neat.”
The other chefs participating in the event were Jenn Boyd, of Bistro Vendome; Carrie Baird, of Bar Dough; Josh Oakley, of Avelina; Joachim Schaaf and David Bochmann, of Pi Restaurant at Warren Tech; Eric Cimono and Andrew Vanstee, of Cart-Driver; and Brian Wilson, of beast + bottle.
Each course included produce grown right on the farm.
“The chefs, they’re doing this out of the goodness of their hearts to work with the culinary students,” said Joshua Olsen, ACRES instructor. “It’s awesome for the students to see who they should be looking up to.”
Proceeds from the dinner will go back into the farm to buy new equipment, compost and keep improving the farm’s soil.
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