From the community

MDI Hospital, Havana partner to connect farm, school, community

Posted May 07, 2014, at 4:20 p.m.
Last modified May 07, 2014, at 4:45 p.m.
Chef Alex Klein of Havana
MDI Hospital
Chef Alex Klein of Havana

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Mount Desert Island Hospital and Havana have come together to host a cooking class at Conners Emerson Elementary School on Food Revolution Day, May 16.

Established in 2011 by renowned chef Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution Day is international day of action designed to increase food knowledge and education for children worldwide. On Friday, May 16, Havana Chef Alex Klein and MDI Hospital Dietitian Amory Davis will join nearly 100 fifth and sixth grade students in the school cafeteria for a hands-on cooking demonstration and food education session. Chef Klein’s cooking demonstration will teach students some new ways to prepare fresh, seasonal vegetables from Chef Klein’s family farm in Sullivan, Run Water Farm.

Following the cooking demonstration, the ingredients that the Conners Emerson students help to prepare will be incorporated into Havana’s Friday evening menu. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to support the Conners Emerson greenhouse project, designed to give students the opportunity to grow their own produce and increase their food knowledge. Havana will host a students and parents reception on their patio 4-5 p.m. to allow the students to sample the final dishes that they helped to create. Community members will have the opportunity to order dishes that the students helped prepare at Havana on Friday evening.

Havana owner Michael Boland has been very supportive of the hospital’s Food Revolution Day efforts, says Oka Hutchins, public affairs officer at MDI Hospital. We are thrilled to partner with Havana to help connect local kids, local food and community,” said Hutchins in a press release. “Michael has been incredibly supportive of the project since we held our first Food Revolution Day event last year — in fact, it was Michael’s idea to fund-raise for the greenhouse with our event this year.”

Partnering to provide students with increased knowledge of local food is a natural fit for Chef Klein, whose love of cooking began on Run Water Farm. I was highly influenced by growing up on my family farm in Sullivan, giving the local ingredients the respect they deserve,” he says. Chef Klein began his cooking career at Cleonice in Ellsworth at the age of 18. He has cooked throughout the state of Maine in Portland, Winter Harbor, Falmouth and Bar Harbor. He continues his tradition of letting local ingredients shine in his dishes at Havana. All components prepared by students on Food Revolution Day will be sourced from ingredients from Chef Klein’s family farm.

Community members are encouraged to dine at Havana on Friday, May 16, to help support the Conners Emerson greenhouse project and to enjoy menu items that the students helped prepare. To make a reservation at Havana, call 288-2822. For more information or to make a donation to the Conners Emerson greenhouse project, contact Oka Hutchins at 288-5081 ext. 1423 or oka.hutchins@mdihospital.org.

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