Ga Dept of Agriculture


“Executive Chef” program unveiled for 2012

Georgia Grown campaign partners with Georgia Restaurant Association

Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black today announced a new partnership that will bring together the Georgia Restaurant Association and the Department’s new Georgia Grown campaign for a statewide, Georgia Grown Executive Chef program.

“This new program will help us promote and foster relationships between chefs and our farmers across the state,” Black said. “We are excited to kick off our new Georgia Grown campaign in 2012 with a new logo, new website, and now this new Executive Chef program.

“Our partnership with the Georgia Restaurant Association will help create a greater awareness about the availability of the quality, local products that can be found on our state’s expanding culinary scene,” Black continued. “It is one of the many new and exciting things that Georgia Grown will offer Georgians in the coming months.”

The program will offer participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season.

"Whether you are an Executive Chef or an everyday consumer, purchasing local food is beneficial for a number of reasons," said GRA Executive Director Karen Bremer. "Georgia Grown food is fresher, more nutritious, saves in transportation cost and environmental impact – and most importantly, it supports the community financially. By buying local, we can generate more revenue for our state, which will create more jobs. It's a win-win situation."

As the program continues to roll out in 2012, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. It also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development.

The Georgia Restaurant Association has selected the final four chefs for this premier program. The chefs will participate in a spring and fall school event, an organized farm tour, at least one seasonal cooking clip with the Department and at least one Georgia Grown cooking event designated by Black. On Thursday, Feb. 9, the four selected chefs will be announced at the Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception, held at AmericasMart from 5:30-7:30 p.m.