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Saturday, May 18, 2024 — Houston, TX

Real food revolution prepares for seventh year of Farm to Fork dinner

By Isabella Bender Zevallos     4/22/15 7:29am

The upcoming spring 2015’s Farm to Fork Dinner has an expected attendance of over 80 students and discussion leaders, thus maintaining the success of the semesterly event that is now in its seventh year. Rice University’s Real Food Revolution, an organization which seeks to increase awareness in regards to local foods, is hosting the dinner on April 25.

Incoming Real Food Revolution Co-President and Sid Richardson College junior Kathryn Hokamp outlined the details of the event, which will feature a meal cooked by a  chef on campus and food from local farmers and the Rice Farmer’s Market.

“We’ll bring in discussion leaders from around the Houston area,” Hokamp said. “We’ll ask farmers, people in food policy, people who write about food, who cook food, who have promoted gardens in Houston, [...] people who are involved in the local foods movement in Houston.”

Belle Douglass, who is co-president with Hokamp, said the discussions serve to provide students with additional information on local foods and where food comes from.

“We like the conversations to be just that, conversations,” Douglass, a Martel College junior, said. “We have found that the best way to really facilitate discussion and learning is by making the discussions casual and allowing the students to ask questions and be engaged with the discussion leaders.”

Hokamp said that while a number of discussion leaders have yet to confirm their presence, there will be representatives from MD Anderson’s Gardening Project, Plant it Forward and Last Organic Outpost. Richard Johnson, head of Sustainability at Rice and the official club sponsor, will also be attending, and the management team of the Farmers Market will serve as discussion leaders. According to Hokamp, the event has a three-pronged purpose.

“The first thing is to expose the students and the chefs at Rice to the opportunities of local foods in Houston, to the diversity and amount of local foods in Houston,” Hokamp said. “There is a huge agricultural presence that people just don’t know about.”

Hokamp said the second goal of the event is the education about the activism going on in food policy for students. Additionally, Hokamp said they hope the event will allow networking with students and between discussion leaders to possibly help students find jobs.

Douglass, said this dinner will feature Edward Castillo, the executive chef at West Servery. 

“We are so excited to work with him and sample his delicious food,” Douglass said. “Some of the produce will be coming from as close as the Martel and Wiess gardens, [and] the furthest the food can come from is a 200-mile radius from campus.”

While this is Real Food Revolution’s biggest event of the semester, Hokamp said the group puts together food stands on a regular basis, from which Rice students can take for free some local food items that Real Food Revolution brought from the Farmers Market or harvested from the Rice gardens. Hokamp also alluded to the possibility of a farm visit to either Cellar Farms or Sullivan Happy Hearts Farms at the end of the semester or during this summer, depending on student interest. 

Farm to Fork Dinner will be held in the Duncan commons, starting at 6:30 PM, $10 for a meal and $15 for a meal and T-shirt. This year, Chef Ed (West servery) will be the guest chef. See the Facebook event for more information. 

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