Fourth annual Farm to Fork Dinner sold out

By Emily Cooper, Staff Reporter

The fourth annual Farm to Fork Dinner will be on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Trueblood Hall.

Sean Eberly, a university food service administrator, said the reason for this dinner is to show students that they don’t have to shop at Walmart to eat.

“We live in such a farm-based community, but we don’t ever think about it,” Eberly said.


Eberly said it’s the fourth year showcasing local foods, and it’s sold out again.

“The Farm to Fork idea started in 2016 from a graduate student, at the time,” Geory Kurtzhals, Sustainability Coordinator, said.   

The dinner will be hosted at Trueblood, even though it’s doors are closed.

“We used to have it at Grinnell when both of the halls were open,” Eberly said. “The kitchen at Trueblood is nicer, it’s in better shape because the equipment is nicer. And it has more capacity to make the tables and seats much nicer. There’s a lot more equipment to get this thing done.”

Darla Peterman, office administration at Fermentation Science Institute, said the dinner pulls a lot of smaller and different resources together in diverse ways.

“We learn a little bit every time we do this event, so the planning is somewhat continuous because each time we do this event we learn a little bit more in attempt to improve it,” Kurtzhals said.

Kurtzhals said Housing, Sustainability Office, and Fermentation Science Institute is the main stakeholders that are involved in this committee.


“Within University Housing, there are members from marketing to dining services and within dining services, there are the chefs that are doing the work, nutrition students helping housing,” Kurtzhals said. “Sustainability works with the School of Music to have student musicians at the event.”

The four-course meal will include:

  • Cheddar apple beer soup with brie and french baguettes with butter
    • Paired with Limited Reserve Riesling from Lincoln Heritage Winery
  • Wilted spinach salad with sweet and savory pecans, hot bacon vinaigrette, and Beer pairing
  • Turmeric Tonic from Scratch Brewing Company; a dijon and herb crusted pork loin with dipping sauces of horseradish cream and demi-glace, roasted root vegetables, and baby carrots with honey
    • Paired with Dry Rose’ from StarView Vineyards
  • A vegetarian dish of spaghetti squash with tomato, spinach, garlic, & pine nuts
    • Paired with Chambourcin from Kite Hill Vineyards

“For dessert, I will have an apple crumble with local vanilla bean ice cream and a beer pairing – Wee Heavy from St. Nicholas Brewing Company,” Eberly said. “After dessert, there will be a wine pairing, Cream Sherry from Blue Sky Vineyard.”

Eberly said the meal will include items sourced by local farmers based off of what they’re growing right now.

“We work with local industries and producers to see what they have available and pair that with the meal,” Matt McCarroll, Director at Fermentation Science Institute, said. “It pulls everything together. The food and beverages come from local producers, so it’s a way to showcase the community and bring those people in.”

The dinner provides an opportunity to connect with local farmers and the food, Kurtzhals said. It also provides an opportunity for our community and farmers to connect, gain awareness and celebration of our local food.

“It hits the idea of what people think about with Thanksgiving, in terms of bringing all of the parts together,” McCarroll said. “It’s a lot of campus coming together for a fun event that brings people together.”

Staff reporter Emily Cooper can be reached at or on Twitter at @ecooper212.

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