Meet Chef Evan Gastman. Growing up on Long Island, New York and spending the past 20 years living in Florida has inspired everything from his cooking to his outlook on sustainability. He’s the executive chef of four Siesta Key kitchens which include, The Cottage’s seafood-focused global cuisine; The Hub Baja Grill’s tropically inspired beach grub; elegant bar bites at the Beach Club; and, Sarasota inspired surf-and-turf, Summer House.
Let’s take a minute to learn more about this fascinating and culinary mastermind. read more
Once a Reluctant Farmer, Gina Gadient Reflects on the Joys of Life on the Farm
Hello, my name is Gina and I live in Eastern Iowa, on a farm I like to refer to as ‘God’s Country’. My husband, Randy, and I farm approximately 400 acres with the help of our children. Not only am I proud to be a farmer’s wife, I am proud to be a farmer! We have a farrow-to-finish operation with approximately 150 sows. That means we raise the pigs from birth to market. The market-ready pigs are sold to Niman Ranch. We also have 65 stock cows.
Guest post by Abby Larsen who farms with her husband Kyle for Niman Ranch in Iowa
My husband, Kyle Larsen, has been putting more gravel in his travel this winter. He is logging more miles not only because our farrow-to-finish hog farm has expanded to more sites, but also because he has eagerly attended as many Niman Ranch regional meetings as possible to tell other farmers about our “Pay It Forward” program. The new “Pay It Forward” program awards grants funded by Niman Ranch farmers for Niman Ranch farmers to support farm and breeding stock expansions and overall operation improvements.
April Wilson and her family have been raising hogs for Niman Ranch for more than 20 years on their diversified farm in Iowa. Established in 1959 by her grandfather, Ernest Wilson, Seven W Farm is a model for regenerative, earth-friendly farming practices. April works alongside her mother and father, Lorna and Dan, two brothers and their wives, together growing corn, soybeans, small grains and hay and raising chickens, sheep, cattle and an organic dairy herd.
We were so excited to get the chance to sit down with executive chef and owner, Jeff Smedstad of Elote Café in Sedona, Arizona. We asked Chef Jeff everything from what inspired him to become a chef to what his last meal on earth would be…Trust us, we were not expecting it.
Meet Niman Ranch family farmers, Brad and Kirsten Eckerman of Quit Yer Belly Achin’ Acres, a family-owned and operated farm located in Southern, Wisconsin. These two hard-working farmers raise hogs humanely and sustainably for Niman Ranch. Without these two and the help of their two kids, Brad’s dad and grandfather, Niman Ranch wouldn’t be the same.
We love sharing Q&A’s with Niman Ranch family farmers, and lucky for us, Brad and Kirsten took some time to come inside from their daily chores and a full-time job to answer a few questions about sustainable farming and what it’s like to be a Niman Ranch family farmer. read more
By: Wendy Meadley, good food evangelist and communications leader collaborating with the James Beard Foundation, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Chefs Collaborative and other leading organizations in the culinary arena.
The event took place at APL, in Hollywood. More than 150 industry notables oversold the event spilling into every space including the kitchen, which became part of the theater of the evening. These chefs, industry professionals and food system thought leaders truly care about how food is produced. I left the event convinced that the Good Food Movement is alive and well in Hollywood and throughout Southern California.
Located in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, Pinch Chinese, is making headlines for their delicious dishes and are being featured on websites like The New York Times, Eater, and Chowhound. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to interview, Chef Hua Zhang and learn more about his passion for cooking and why he uses Niman Ranch at Pinch Chinese.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. on behalf of Niman Ranch to attend the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) Convergence. This was their fourth annual event, bringing in about 100 farmers from all around the country. When attending something like this that’s so far from home, it’s always nice to see some familiar faces. Fortunately for me, I was not the only Niman Ranch attendee. Raeanna Crile, a Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation Scholarship recipient whose father raises hogs for Niman Ranch, flew in from Dordt College for the convergence. Kerri McClimen, who leads Communications for Niman was also there to support the partners and provide guidance.
Can you believe 2018 is almost over? We can’t! As we look back, we wanted to reflect on Niman in the News and recognize our farmers and ranchers. They often do not have time to take stock of the national news they make from producing the finest tasting meat.
From a January feature on Dr. Oz about bacon that led to another invitation to come on again to talk about beef, we were thrilled to share vital information on the importance of sustainable, antibiotic-free meats that captured the attention of millions.
This year we were also featured in The New York Times for having one of the best bratwursts, Real Simple for hot dogs, and Southern Living for bacon, among many more.
Let’s take a moment to look back at our top 10 favorite media moments of 2018 and thank our farmers and ranchers who helped make it possible.