The 2014 Farm to Table International Symposium

 2014 Farm to Table International Symposium

Pictured: Steve Pettus, Managing Partner, Dickie Brennan and Co.; Chef Michel Nischan, CEO, Wholesome Wave, and Chairman, Farm to Table International Symposium; Dickie Brennan, Owner, Dickie Brennan and Co., Chef Ben Thibodeaux, Tableau Restaurant.

Chef Michel Nischan, two-time James Beard award recipient, farm to table food pioneer and chairman of the 2014 Farm to Table International Symposium (F2Ti), joined some of the biggest names in the Greater New Orleans culinary scene for a special lunch hosted by Dickie Brennan at Dickie Brennan’s Tableau Restaurant in the French Quarter.

According to Chef Nischan, “The farm to table movement has become more mainstream in recent years as people are starting to take notice and care about where their food comes from. Chefs, and restaurateurs like Dickie Brennan, have been sourcing locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood for years.”

Tableau’s Chef de Cuisine, Ben Thibodeaux, impressed diners with an intricate, three-course feast featuring locally sourced ingredients. The menu included:

  • Bella Rosa tomato and crab salad.
  • Gonsoulin Farms grass-fed beef slider.
  • Two Run Farms lamb loin chop.
  • Chappapeela Farms duck breast.
  • Chili-fried soft-shell Gulf shrimp.
  • Mayhaw and dark chocolate crepe.

In addition to lunch, Chef Nischan toured the LSU AgCenter organic fertility research project (which will be an important focus at F2Ti), Good Eggs NOLA distribution facility, as well as the SoFAB Culinary Library and the future site of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Luncheon Guests enjoy fresh cuisine prepared by Tableau Chef Ben Thibodeaux

Luncheon Guests enjoy fresh cuisine prepared by Tableau Chef Ben Thibodeaux

Chef Nischan’s visit was in anticipation of the 2nd annual F2Ti to be held August 2-4 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in partnership with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter. The symposium will bring together the leading practitioners in the growing farm-to-table movement to explore the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally while presenting the opportunity to connect consumers and chefs and producers.

“Now with the intense interest on the importance of local and regional sense of place, people are reawakening themselves to flavor,” said Nischan, CEO, Wholesome Wave. “No place in the world does flavor better than New Orleans.”

This year’s theme, “The Process,” examines the agricultural-culinary cycle at all levels and will feature its own organic fertility research project. Topics will include the best practices for urban farming, bringing products to market, sourcing locally, sustainability, and the latest on the imposing Food Safety Modernization Act.

Destined to become the single most important annual forum on farm-to-table topics, F2Ti occurs concurrently with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s 61st Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO; F2Ti attendees will have access to the almost 200,000 square feet of exhibits.

Learn more about the F2Ti 2014 or register for the conference at