“What’s In Season” Plans for Local Food Grow

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Fresh vegetables and legumes for vegan cooking
Fresh vegetables and legumes for vegan cooking

Thunder Bay – LIVING – The “What’s In Season” campaign is based on a series of monthly cooking videos featuring a local chef making dinner with local seasonal ingredients, accompanied by profiles of producers and other features intended to help people learn about the seasonality, availability and enjoyment of local food.  At the centre of the campaign is the directory website tbayInSeason.ca, which lets visitors search for producers by category and ingredient, and find other businesses processing, retailing and cooking with food grown in Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay will be getting an up-close and personal look at its own local food scene for the next year, thanks to an awareness campaign launched today by the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy.

Food Strategy Coordinator Karen Kerk said that the 12-month campaign explores all the best parts of the local food system.  “We have really positive things going on in our food and farm community,” she said.  “There are over 125 tags for local ingredients in the directory, and many of them are going to surprise people.  Our recent challenges have made local food more accessible than ever – including online shopping and delivery! – and we have a really impressive group of chefs lined up to share about their own local food experiences and show people how to cook a great meal in under an hour.”

The July video launched today features chef Nikos Mantis barbecuing veal rib steaks and bok choy while whipping up a compound butter with green garlic and tossing a salad with sheep’s feta and the first of this year’s local strawberries.

“Throughout each month we’ll be releasing new features on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube,” Kerk said.  “We’ll be stopping in at farms and peeking in behind the scenes all over the food community to give people an insider look at the real people living within 100 kilometres of us who are growing food for our dinner.  They have fantastic, fascinating stories.  We can’t wait to tell them!”

The campaign has economic implications as well, Kerk said.  “The more people support our local food system, the stronger it will be.  That’s good for everyone – more farms, more jobs, more money staying here in Thunder Bay.”

What’s In Season is funded by Thunder Bay Tourism, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the Province of Ontario.

Learn more about the What’s In Season campaign at tbayInSeason.ca, and on Facebook and Instagram at @tbayinseason.