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Really Cooking in Farm Country

Really Cooking in Farm Country

More than 20 chefs and 700 guests participated in The Culinary Vegetable Institute's recent 2006 Food & Wine Celebration to raise funds to benefit Veggie U. The Culinary Vegetable Institute is a culinary education center in Milan, OH, surrounded by The Chef's Garden working farm. Veggie U is dedicated to facilitating educational projects, currently in 21 states, that promote the idea that better eating leads to better health.

The sold-out event featured a Grand Food and Wine Tasting, silent and live auctions and a Star Chef Cook Off. The latter spotlighted cast members from NBC/Bravo TV's reality show, "Top Chef:" Stephen

Aspirinio, Andrea Beaman, Harold Dieterle ("Top Chef" series winner), Candice Kumai, Miguel Morales and the Star Chef Cook-Off winning team of Lee Anne Wong and David Martin.

Veggie U is a not-for-profit educational organization. For more information about its programs, visit the web site at

TASTING STATION: Chef Kenny Gilbert of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in Jupiter, FL.

FLAVOR TO GO: Chef Melissa Kelly of Primo, Rockland, ME, dishes up tasting portions.

COOL TASTES: At the tasting, Chef Don Yamauchi of Tribute in Farmington Hills, MI, offered watermelon soup.

KEEPING 'EM DOWN ON THE FARM: Chefs touring The Chef's Garden.

Smoked Chicken on Sourdough with Roasted Green Garlic Mayo and Micro Leeks

From: Executive chef Dale Hawkins, Stonewall Resort, Walkersville, W.VA, and Harvey Christie, Gourmet Central, Romney, W.VA. Yield: 1 serving.

Grilled breast of chicken* as needed, mayonnaise as needed, roasted garlic from The Chef's Garden as needed, green garlic shoots from The Chef's Garden to taste, salt and pepper 2" x 2" sourdough bun as needed, micro chives from The Chef's Garden

For roasted garlic mayonnaise: Combine mayonnaise, roasted garlic and green garlic shoots.

For sandwich: Spread mayonnaise on sourdough bun, add grilled chicken breast and top with micro chives.

*Chefs Hawkins and Christie use locally produced Liedley Farms Chicken, with no added hormones or antibiotics.