Chef Profile: Anne Quantrano

Chef Anne Quatrano photoChef. Innovator. Visionary. Anne Quatrano is widely held to be one of the country’s greatest chefs. Her meticulous attention to detail dovetails seamlessly with her devotion to freshness, flavor and simplicity. A longtime proponent of sustainability, Anne has – since her earliest days – prided herself in using locally grown seasonal and organic produce, much of which is from her own organic gardens grown at her home on Summerland Farm in Cartersville, Ga.  Together with her husband, award-winning chef Clifford Harrison, she operates five of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants – Bacchanalia, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Floataway Café and Abattoir.

We are thrilled she is traveling to Des Moines to cook for the family farmers who raise hogs for Niman Ranch.

Thank you chefs Anne and Clifford for your commitment to humanely raised meat.

Chefs Honoring Niman Ranch Hog Farmers

Niman Ranch celebrates its more than 550 U.S. family hog farmers at its 15th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Seven renowned chefs share their passion for humanely and sustainably raised pork by honoring the farmers who raise the animals at the annual celebration.

“Each of these chefs has shown a commitment to using humanely and sustainably raised pork in their restaurants,” said Paul Willis, Niman Ranch Pork Company founder and manager. “Our farmers take pride in raising hogs traditionally but often do not get to see how chefs use the pork on their menus, so we bring the restaurants to them.”

Over the next three weeks we will introduce you to each of these chefs.

David Bull, Congress- Austin, Texas

Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia- Atlanta, Georgia

Jack Riebel, Butcher & The Boar- Minneapolis, Minn.

Jodie Rogers & Clark Norris, Deer Valley Resort- Deer Valley, Utah

Kevin Sbraga, SBRAGA- Philadelphia, Penn.

Alex Yellan, Pok Pok- Brooklyn, NY

Supermarket Superstar

Andrew HunterWe have to brag. This month, Niman Ranch executive chef and owner of Culinary Craft Andrew Hunter will begin shooting the premiere season of a new reality TV show, Supermarket Superstar, coming soon on Lifetime Network. Supermarket Superstar is a reality competition series from the creators of Project Runway and Undercover Boss that searches America for today’s homegrown recipes that could become tomorrow’s bestselling supermarket brands.

In each episode, competitors face off in the Superstar Kitchen to see if their recipe has what it takes. The winner of each week’s challenge receives an investment in their product and the chance to compete in the Season Finale, where one grand prize winner will have their product introduced to millions of customers nationwide on the shelves of a major grocery store.

 

Supermarket Superstar is the first show of its kind to feature R&D and the product commercialization process for retail food products. The format features consumer cooks as contestants who have a family recipe or product that should be in supermarkets.

As the R&D mentor, Andrew is coaching the contestants on-camera through the development process. The host is Stacy Keibler and the Superstar Panel of Experts includes Michael Chiarello, Chris Cornyn and Debbi Fields.

Supermarket Superstar is a very exciting endeavor for the R&D segment of the industry and its first primetime feature on a major television network. We are thrilled for Andrew!

14th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner – Part 2

The Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner provides an opportunity for our featured chefs and special guests to gain a deeper understanding of what traditional, sustainable and humane family farming looks like by visiting us here at Willis Farms in Thornton, Iowa.

Every year we provide a farm tour and this year it was more special for me than ever before as I worked side-by-side with my daughter, Sophia, many good friends and family members including some extra help from a crew of friends from out-of -town. Pete Marczyk and his entourage from Marczyk Fine Foods who had traveled all the way from Denver, Colorado, to help us prepare the outdoor dinner.

14th annual part 2

read more

The Willis Family Lamb Ranch, Laketown, UT

Willis lambThere are many reasons why Niman Ranch meat is better than the rest- how we raise our animals is one of them. How our animals are raised directly impacts the quality and taste of Niman Ranch meat.

The chefs that serve Niman Ranch meats often like to see where and how the animal is raised. Bringing chefs to the farms and ranches to meet the farmers in person gives them the opportunity to see first hand how humane animal care and sustainable farming practices impact the meat that ends up their menus. Several times a year, we are able to make that happen.

A few weeks ago a small group visited the Willis Ranch in Laketown Utah, to see how Niman Ranch lamb is raised. We began the tour at the Willis’ fall grazing ground located in the small corner between Utah’s Bear Lake and the Idaho and Wyoming borders. Here we learned about the work Clark Willis spearheaded on rangeland restoration. His work opened up the grazing land, which positively impacted the endangered Sage Grouse by providing an optimum habitat for breeding.

read more

The Pathfinder Sustainability Award

Paul Willis, Niman Ranch Pork Company founder and manager, was honored at the 2012 Chefs Collaborate Summit with the Pathfinder Sustainability Award. The award recognizes a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.

read more

Awarding $36,000 to the Next Generation of Farmers

Niman Ranch celebrated its more than 550 U.S. family hog farmers and awarded 18 Next Generation Scholarships last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, at its 14th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Niman Ranch established the Next Generation Scholarship Fund in 2006 to preserve the integrity of U.S. family farms by supporting the children of rural communities who wish to attend college and pursue an education focusing on sustainable or environmental practices and who intend to return to the family farm upon graduation.

read more

Meet the Next Generation of Niman Ranch Farmers: Michael Mardesen

As the U.S. family farm disappears, we are proud of our young Niman Ranch farmers. They are committed to raising hogs sustainably and humanely while continuing the traditional farming practices handed down by their parents and grandparents. Meet Michael Mardesen, 20 year old from Iowa and past recipient of the Next Generation Scholarship.