The state Department of Agriculture has announced that this year’s Farm-to-Chef Week will run September 18-24. Open to all restaurants and food-service companies in the state, participants are invited to create and offer their own special Farm-to-Chef menu that showcases Connecticut-grown ingredients and wines.
The seven-day promotion is an initiative of the department’s Farm-to-Chef Program, which connects Connecticut farmers and distributors of Connecticut-grown products with chefs and other culinary professionals. Last year’s Farm-to-Chef week attracted more than 80 restaurants, caterers, institutions, schools, farms, wineries and various dining venues. Participants created diverse menus that were offered at multi-course farm dinners, food-trucks, white-tablecloth restaurants, coffee and breakfast shops, school cafeterias and even ice cream parlors. Featured ingredients included fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, seafood, dairy, maple, honey and more.
“Many Farm-to-Chef members already serve locally grown and raised ingredients,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky. “What’s special about this week is that it inspires even greater creativity, brings attention to the cause on a state-wide level, and encourages businesses that are new to the program to give local products a try. It also gives the public a chance to sample and savor our state’s many local flavors and support restaurants and businesses that they may not have ever visited before.”
NEW HAVEN — The United Illuminating Co. has made a $5,000 grant to help a New Haven nonprofit repair a mobile educational bioscience laboratory. The grant is to Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE) for its BioBus, a state-of-the-art mobile laboratory aimed at middle- and high-school students. It travels around the state to give students the opportunity to learn about science. They can perform experiments and conduct other hands-on activities. It was launched in 2003 with help from an earlier UI grant, and it currently requires repairs to the laboratory floor and transmission that will cost approximately $8,800.
The BioBus is part of CURE’s BioScience Explorations initiative, a set of programs that bring science education to Connecticut students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It includes BioBus and Science Quest, a similar mobile laboratory designed for elementary school instruction.
WALLINGFORD — Shawmut Design & Construction of New Haven has been selected to build the Kohler Environmental Center at Choate Rosemary Hall. Designed by the architectural firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, the structure is a 32,000-square-foot timber and fieldstone academic center that will provide an interdisciplinary focus on sustainability and the environment.
The Kohler Environmental Center is designed to achieve LEED-platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — a first for Choate — and a net-zero energy usage rating through an on-site, 290 kW, solar photovoltaic (PV) array. Design elements also include geothermal, solar hot water, as well as super-insulated walls and roof.
The building, to be constructed on 266 acres of undeveloped land north and east of Choate’s main campus, will function as a working laboratory. It will also include classrooms and seminar rooms, as well as a residential facility with a kitchen that will house two faculty apartments, up to 20 students, visiting researchers, graduate students and scholars-in-residence.