A Final Summertime Hurrah : NMU’s Hospitality Gala

Connecting chefs, farmers, and the community as well as celebrating Northern Michigan University’s Hospitality Management program is what the Hospitality Gala on Sept. 23 is all about. Chefs and students currently in the program are teaming up to bring eight stations featuring food from farms in the Marquette area.

“Every station has either some alumni or program connection,” explains Alexandria Palzewicz, an alumna of the program, “and students are going to have the opportunity to work with the chefs who are going to teach them how to plate it, what went into it and maybe help them prepare it.”

14310586_1240750882649183_3826876809456423753_oThe event takes place during Homecoming Weekend so hopefully alumni visiting the area can attend this Saturday at the Marquette Commons. Working with Myra Zyburt, the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market manager, with the event at the site of the market helped give the event its local food hook.

“We’re hoping it will get people talking about local food systems and the chefs and the farmers that are part of those and get them connected so they get the chance to talk.”

Inside the Commons building there will be a networking and display area where, farms, event sponsors, restaurants, breweries, and everyone involved in planning the event will people able to talk about how and why they are involved and what they are doing. Alexandria said she is hopingBlog Potatoes rock river these people already connecting in the community will strengthen their connections and those not yet connected will meet.

The places who will be represented at the event either preparing or growing food is continuing to grow as the event approaches.

“There are some people who you’ve seen things from very recently and there are some people who you haven’t seen things from in years.”

Places that are already on board include, DIGS Gastropub featuring chefs Andrew Sear and Ed Potter, Harley’s Restaurant featuring chef Angela Varner, Treasa’s Treasures, Bean Pole Farm, Rock River Farm, Elmcrest Acres, and Partridge Creek Farms.

“As for Partridge Creek Farm, we get to financially help. They will use the money made from beverage sales to grow their programs.” Their programs including educational youth programs, connecting kids with growing food through volunteering in community gardens and school programs.

Tickets for the event are available here and updates can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.

“I really want people to see the hard work that these farmers have put in and all these people have put in or maybe I am trying to make the season last a little longer with one last summer event at the end of the harvest.”

Tickets link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nmu-hospitality-gala-tickets-35222053109

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/309541952793106/

Melissa Orzechowski is the local food coordinator for the Upper Peninsula. Contact her at [email protected].