Tomorrow, at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex, 30 teams of Vermont youth will go head to head to find out "whose cuisine will reign supreme." Although there's no "secret ingredient," the youngsters were tasked with creating localvore dishes that can easily be replicated in a school cafeteria. Given that it's barely spring and the growing season is just beginning, this isn't as easy as it sounds.
The middle school competition will happen Saturday morning, while the high schoolers will compete in the early afternoon (I'm the head judge for the high school competition). Attending is really inexpensive, $2.50 for individuals and $5 for a family, and the money raised benefits the Burlington School Food Project and VT FEED. There's also gonna be a few food vendors, maple sugar on snow and live music.
You won't find Molto Mario or Cat Cora there, but there are going to be a few local celebs, such as Kathy O'Brien (of Survivor fame), Mark Bove, Anson Tebbetts (Deputy Secretary of Agriculture) and farmer/legislator Will Stevens. The M.C. will be Chairman Sean Buchanan, executive chef for Stowe Mountain Lodge.
It's for a good cause and it should be fun. Hope to see you there!