College invites public to "Eat Local" lunch - with fresh, homegrown ingredients from within 150 miles

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Saint Joseph's College opens its dining hall to the public for a homegrown, homecooked lunch featuring ingredients grown within a 150-mile radius (olive oil being a principal exception!). On that day, campus food vendor Bon Appétit sponsors its third annual "Eat Local" lunch to showcase how local ingredients become delicious entrees. The menu of Maine-grown ingredients - right down to the salt in the shaker - will feature herbed roast chicken, mussels in garlic and wine sauce, pasta and marinara sauce, grilled burgers, full-spread salad bar, soups and dessert.

"Not only do we emphasize the fresh flavor, we support local growers, which ultimately helps the environment, and preserve local farms and traditions," says Stuart Leckie of Naples, general manager of dining operations at Saint Joseph's.

Nationwide, Bon Appétit is committed to working with suppliers of local food toward a sustainable future, says Leckie. Even when it's not Eat Local day, Leckie regularly uses suppliers of Maine products and was instrumental in getting the college to donate land for a garden - a garden that will supply tomatoes and garlic for the marinara sauce.

"Obviously, there's a huge difference in taste. But we're also doing the right thing because we want to make everyone aware of the 2,000-mile journey that food sometimes makes," says Leckie.

September 17, 2007 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu