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Join local farmers for a fresh-from-the-fields dinner Saturday

Fresh food tastes better.

The flavors are simply cleaner, crisper, natural, unlike the synthetic, artificial tastes of processed food. And, of course, fresh food is more nutritious. All the healthy ingredients have not been diminished through time and preservation.

Wouldn’t it be great if we knew all our meals were made fresh?

This Saturday, there is one meal that will not only be made with fresh ingredients, but will showcase the harvests of southeastern Wisconsin farmers, orchardists and graziers.

It’s the third annual Farm Fresh Atlas Local Food Fundraiser Dinner, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at the historic Oconomowoc Lake Club.

Jack Kaestner, former executive chef at the club, Peter Sandroni of Milwaukee’s acclaimed La Merenda restaurant, and Bruce Evans, culinary arts instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, are preparing the menu for the Chez Panisse-style dinner. Chez Panisse is California restaurant, credited as the inspiration for California cooking, a cuisine style that uses local, organic foods.

All the farmers and artisans who produce the food will be in attendance. They will offer hors d’oeuvres featuring their products and explain to diners their growing processes before joining them for the chefs’ entrees and desserts.

A silent auction, composed mostly of gift certificates to local restaurants and attractions as well as gift baskets of locally-grown farm produce or artisan foods, will also take place.

Cost for the dinner is $65, $40 for ages 6 to 12. Youth under 5 may sit on a lap and eat for free.

All proceeds from the event will go toward the printing of the Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin, the primary marketing tool for many Wisconsin CSA and niche, sustainable farms and farm businesses.

To order tickets call (262) 857-1948 or register online at

The Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin is a joint effort of UW-Extension, Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast, Town and Country RC&D and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

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