Monday, March 11, 2013
Locavore Lesson Plan
When Laura Adiletta left Cleveland in 2009, she had no idea she would make a return under such delicious circumstances.
Or that she would bring 33 high school students from Marianapolis Preparatory School in Connecticut with her.
This week Adiletta is taking the students on a tour of the city as she teaches them about sustainable foods.
“The title of the course is Taste of Cleveland," explains Adiletta, who is also a chef at Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, Conn. "So not only will they get a taste of the food and the stuff that’s growing around Cleveland, they’re also getting to experience the culture that really makes Cleveland unique.”
A few places on their packed itinerary include the Flying Fig, Greenhouse Tavern, and Spice Kitchen & Bar, where they will be treated to chef-led talks and tours. They’ll also get right into the source of their meals by visiting the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, and West Side Market’s urban farm.
Adiletta's history with Cleveland (she graduated from Case Western Reserve University and also worked as an editor at Cleveland Magazine) influenced her decision to use it as an example for her course, but the city's emerging focus on sustainable food also caught her eye.
“I’ve been following the local food in Cleveland for years, really ever since I started cooking,” she says. “I jumped on the opportunity to highlight Cleveland and the food scene that’s brewing there.”
Many of the students Adiletta will be taking around the city are international, so this trip is an opportunity to show those kids there is more to American food than drive-thru fare.
“I want the kids to ask where their food is coming from,” she says. “I want to be an ambassador to American food culture and say we’re not all about McDonald's hamburgers.”
The local food education doesn't stop with the students. Adiletta and her students are using social media to engage with the community about what they learned. Follow along through Twitter with the @eatloCLE handle and #eatloCLE hashtag and a website made for the trip, eatlocle.com.