Award-winning chef, Chef Charles Phan, is returning to the annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner for the 20th annual celebration.
The partnership between the chef and independent farmers began years ago. Chef Charles opened his flagship restaurant, The Slanted Door, in 1995, the same year Paul Willis, Niman Ranch founding hog farmer, partnered with Niman Ranch to bring humanely and sustainably raised pork to the San Francisco Bay area.
In 2006, Chef Charles made his debut as featured chef at the annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner to thank the independent family farmers for their dedication to raising animals humanely and sustainably. To further honor his relationship with founding farmer Paul Willis, Chef Charles listed his Niman Ranch specialty ribs as “Willis Ribs” on his menus. Chef Charles Phan will return for the exclusive 20th anniversary dinner and is bringing back what he once called “Willis Ribs” as his featured dish to share with the honorary family farmers.
Chef Cal Peternell, the former executive chef of Chez Panisse, played a significant role in the creation of the first Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner.
Alice Waters, the owner and founder of Chez Panisse, and Chef Cal have been proud partners of Niman Ranch founding hog farmer, Paul Willis, for many years. Sourcing Chez Panisse with sustainably raised Niman Ranch pork, Alice Waters started a legendary movement in Berkeley, Calif. The successful partnership inspired Paul to organize the first Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner featuring Chef Cal Peternell.
We are happy to announce the first-ever featured chef, Chef Cal Peternell, will be back for the 20th annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner.
James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurant owner, Chef Michael Schwartz, will be returning to Des Moines, Iowa for the 20th anniversary of the Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. He joined us to cook great food for our family farmers back in 2011 and was so popular that he was invited back for this year’s special anniversary.
I traveled to Sarasota, Florida a couple of months ago to assist in promoting the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Fund at Mattison’s Scholarship Dinner. During this visit, I enjoyed speaking to all those that attended the wonderful dinner held at Mattison’s. I enjoyed entertaining questions about Niman Ranch and my family’s seventh-generation farm during the social hour. Questions ranged from why my family supports Niman Ranch to how the scholarship fund has impacted my life to the process of raising our pigs.
Spring has finally sprung, which is great because this year we weren’t sure spring would ever arrive. What a crazy month April was – from thunderstorms to thundersnow to blizzards. Our children are always happy to have a few days off from school due to snow, but farmers never get a day off.
Earth Day, like every day, is a great opportunity to take time to appreciate the earth. Living on a farm, favorable weather and healthy soil are never taken for granted. As Niman Ranch farmers, we are closely connected to the land, caring for the earth as the earth provides for us. We aspire to preserve the land and fresh water for future generations. In order to do this, we practice a variety of conservation and sustainable farming techniques to improve water and soil quality. We truly live every day like it’s earth day with our top 10 sustainable best practices.
My father, Paul Willis, was invited by Iowa State Representative Todd Prichard to talk to the Agricultural Committee in Des Moines at the state capitol on February 15th. Dad discussed sustainable, humane and traditional farming opportunities created by Niman Ranch for farmers in the state of Iowa, along with the rural economic development created through this niche market.
Family farmer John Gilbert started selling pigs to Niman Ranch 20 years ago when he and his wife were young parents to three small children. Their oldest son John joined the family farm and today the father-son duo are still raising hogs for Niman Ranch. read more