Photo of students around an outdoor table cutting vegetables

Students explored the Farm-to-Table experience during a recent visit to Katchkie Farms in Kinderhook.

Produce picked fresh from the garden, prepared and enjoyed that day, was the wonderful opportunity that juniors from the CGEC Culinary Arts Program, along with instructors Chef Peter Desmond and John McCarthy, experienced during a recent visit to Katchkie Farm.

Located not far from our Center in Kinderhook, NY, Katchkie Farm is “a year-round NOFA-certified Community Supported Agriculture farm… dedicated to building connections between consumers, food professionals & families and healthy, delicious local food.”  Katchkie’s partnership with the Sylvia Center provides hands-on culinary and cooking experiences for local and New York City students.  For the past several years, Katchkie Farm has hosted our students, as well as visited our Culinary Arts and Intro to Food Services programs, sharing their enthusiasm and expertise.

According to Madeleine Fischer from the Sylvia Center “It was a wonderful chilly fall day on the farm with Questar’s culinary students.  We discussed the role that farms play in food, visited our chickens, and tasted our way through the garden before harvesting vegetables to cook a farm fresh lunch.  On the menu was Butternut Squash Risotto and a Warm String Bean Salad and the results were of restaurant quality.  Everyone left the day feeling very well nourished, from our delicious meal and each other’s company.”

Chef Desmond adds “We are so fortunate to have such a fantastic partnership with the Sylvia Center and the Farm.  Through this connection, for the past six years we have worked with students from New York City at the Great Performance Caterers in New York, the annual July Benefit for the Center and have been able to teach students the real farm-to-table.  Questar students have truly benefited from these experiences.  A few years ago, some students even had the opportunity to meet celebrity chefs, including Jose Andres.”


photo of students picking vegetables from a garden.

Students picked, prepared, and ate a variety of fresh produce during their visit.

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