Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Agriculture Commissioner asks Chefs to Buy Local

AUSTIN — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and the Texas Department of Agriculture are asking chefs and restaurant owners who buy and serve local ingredients to bring Texas to the table during the fourth annual GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up, presented by Farm Credit.

During the statewide dine-out week, July 25-31, GO TEXAN member restaurants are offering special Texas menu items or a Texas food and wine pairing. Restaurants also are encouraged to donate part of their proceeds to local food banks and will receive a special menu feature on the Round-Up website for doing so.

“Our farmers, ranchers, winemakers and fishermen make it easy for chefs to serve fresh Texas fare,” Commissioner Staples said. “The GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up celebrates that connection while Texans enjoy local products and support local food banks. Chefs can sign up today to be part of one of the nation’s largest statewide dine-out weeks as we encourage patrons to ‘Go Out. Go Eat. GO TEXAN.’”

GO TEXAN is providing posters, save-the-date cards and other marketing materials to participating restaurants to help inform consumers of this opportunity to enjoy the best of Texas. Establishments serving at least three Texas wines may also receive GO TEXAN wine glasses while supplies last.

Hundreds of Texas restaurants across the state are participating in this year’s Round-Up, including Johnny Cace’s Seafood and Steak House in Longview, Southwest Bistro at the Hyatt Regency Austin, Haven in Houston, Calesa in Harlingen, Canary by Gorji in Dallas and Glazed Honey Ham Co. in Lubbock.

“I’m excited to show our local communities that we care about serving fresh local food and authentic Texas wines,” said Jim Baron, owner of Blue Mesa Grill and TNT / Tacos and Tequila in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. “Our customers, more and more, are interested in where their food comes from and appreciate fresh products from local farms and vendors. This is a great opportunity for Texas restaurants to partner with local food producers and give to local food banks.”

Source: Texas Dep't of Agriculture