Inviting the Planet to Dinner

Sure, you head out to the Metroparks when you want to hike or bike or maybe even to fish, but have you thought about visiting for dinner?

Chef Rae Endreola of Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Nature Center invites visitors to “imagine the planet as a close member of our family, and we are sitting down to dinner. The menu we have chosen to feed our loved ones will also care for and nourish our cherished Earth.”

Operating on this premise, Chef Endreola, along with nature center staff, local chefs, artisans, and farmers, presents a series of evenings full of informative presentations, cooking demonstrations, and food tastings.

“Inviting the Planet to Dinner” inspires diners to reevaluate their attitudes and habits toward food. Each monthly theme focuses on one aspect of sustainable food choices, from direct-trade coffee roasted locally at Cleveland’s Rising Star to the artfully handmade sausages crafted of locally sourced meat by Fresh: Butcher, Deli, & Café of Broadview Heights. Cooking demonstrations show easy, practical ways to implement the information into everyday life, and tastings of featured foods expose participants to new ingredients and dishes.

Best of all, everyone leaves with a sense of how the seemingly small act of choosing foods that are locally, seasonally, and organically produced affects the health of the communities and natural world around us. Check out these upcoming dinners and reserve your seat at the table by calling 440.734.6660, or visiting their Website at ClevelandMetroparks.com.

August 15: The Art of the Sausage

Local butcher Mike Dunlap shares how he sources local meats for his Fresh Deli & Café, and will give a demo of his artisanal sausage-making techniques. ($12)

September 12: Goodness of Garlic

Robust, healthful, strengthening—who doesn’t love garlic? Meet organic garlic growers Fred and Chris Thaxton and learn about how farming can help enrich the land though thoughtful practice. ($12)

October 10: Goats are Tasty!

A staple meat all over the world, North Americans are just now catching on to the fact that goat tastes GOOD! Kraner Farms demonstrates how satisfying your carnivorous cravings need not equate to unsustainable, factory-farmed beef. ($12)