WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Strong Local Support for Local Foods Dinner

Macomb, IL – People filled the dining hall and filled their bellies at the second annual Local Foods Dinner in Macomb.

The dinner was hosted by the Food Initiatives Group (FIG). Volunteers from FIG helped prepare the food and served it.

The food preparation was overseen by Dan Murphy. He is operations manager of Sodexho's Food Services Program at Western Illinois University. He's also a five time winner of the local "Copper Chef" competition.

Around 100 people attended the event, which took place at Taylor Hall, The Wine Sellers, and Sullivan Taylor Coffeehouse on Macomb's courthouse square. The money raised will help support FIG programs.

Many of the diners also attended last year's dinner, but for many others, this was their first local foods dinner. Lisa Eallonardo of Macomb said she did not know much about the local food movement but added it sounds like a good thing.

"The idea of buying locally and using less transportation just seems like a smart idea," said Eallonardo. After the dinner, she said the food was "awesome."

The meal included cucumber soup, tomato cheese bruschetta, a choice of three entrees (beef, chicken, or vegetarian) and, for dessert, a lemon pound cake topped with blueberry jam and creme fraiche.

Diners were also given a program and a local food guide. The guide provides information about nearly 50 producers in the region.