Southside Buffet at Redifer hosts sustainable dinner with locally sourced foods

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Do you wonder where your food comes from? Do you make it a point to visit the local farmer’s markets or read labels? More and more, people are paying attention to where their food comes from, and that includes Penn State students.

Recently, the Southside Buffet in the South Food District at Redifer offered a sustainable meal featuring local ingredients from Pennsylvania farms. All farms were within a 150-mile radius of Penn State. 

Four of the farms supplying the ingredients for the meal can be found within 55 miles of Penn State.

Sous chef Stephane Gawlowicz developed the dish, which included a vegetarian option. Both options featured a stuffed baby squash with glazed “Penn Succotash” and a yellow corn polenta cake. The succotash was a combination of red onion, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, corn, apples, pears, basil and rosemary. Students could then choose either a grilled beef strip loin with rosemary au jus or a tofu kebab with vegetable au jus.

“I came up with the idea for the dish knowing this was the best time of year for this kind of meal, especially in our latitudes,” said Gawlowicz.

Gawlowicz continued on explaining that the squash, while still growing, have a soft skin, are easy to carve and better to digest. In addition, the variety of fruits and vegetables allowed them to be combined without mixing in many spices or other supplemental ingredients that would only mask the real flavors.

“A bit of honey and rosemary, et voila! The sun did all the work.”

“A bit of honey and rosemary, et voila! The sun did all the work.”
                    -- Sous chef Stephane Gawlowicz     

Four of the farms supplying the ingredients for the meal can be found quite close, within 55 miles of Penn State. These included Lost Hollow Honey in Spring Mills, Wilson Home Farms and Wade Wolfe Farms in Centre Hall, and Green Heron Farms in Three Springs. Other farms contributing ingredients include Fred W. Eckel & Sons in Clarks Summit, Ivan Reiff Farms in Leola, Sernak Farms in Weatherly, Bear Mountain Orchards in Aspers, and Brooklawn Farm and Haldeman Mills in Lancaster.

The dinner proved extremely successful with Gawlowicz reporting that they ran out of food for the sustainable meal before they closed for the evening. There are plans for a second sustainable dinner in April during the spring semester.

Last Updated October 11, 2013