Showing What We're Growing Tour

Yuma, Arizona is well known for the produce that grows in the area during the winter months of the year. The Southwest Ag Summit is an event that is put on annually to highlight the agriculture industry, while also offering a trade show, educational and networking opportunities. The culmination event of the summit is the Harvest Dinner. As part of the educational week focused on agriculture, Bill Alexander Ford sponsored the “Showing What We’re Growing” tour. Three chefs took part in the festivities, Brandon Crosby, Cleetus Friedman and David Anderson. I had the opportunity to join the chefs throughout the week while they learned about agriculture, the Yuma Community and much more!

I was able to get the know the visitors over delicious meals prepared by two Yuma chefs, Eddie Guzman of Takos & Beer and Alex Trujillo of The Patio at the Hills. The events also allowed for Brandon, Cleetus and David to meet local farmers, historians and restaurant owners that work with the Yuma grown produce on a daily basis.

One of the memorable moments for the chefs was when they were able to partake in the Labor of Love program. Through this program, produce harvest crews were surprised with gifts and thanks of appreciation for all of their tremendous efforts each day. The chefs, Chile Pepper, Sabor Farms and the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association shocked a cilantro crew at the field with lunch and gift bags. The chefs were able to assist with handing out the gifts and see first hand all that goes into harvesting produce.

At the culminating event, the Harvest Dinner, the visiting chefs created appetizers for over 1200 attendees. Each of the chefs had a unique story to tell through the food that they served. The appetizers were crowd pleasers. As the guests entered the event, they had the opportunity to meet Brandon, Cleetus and David.

Throughout the “Showing What We’re Growing” tour the chefs were able to learn a tremendous amount in regards to the agriculture industry. It is powerful for chefs that cook with produce in their restaurants and catering events to have an understanding of the supply chain, food safety standards and agriculture. I am confident that they will take what they learned from their Yuma experiences and share it with others. I hope they enjoyed their time in Yuma and look forward to their return!

About the Chefs

Brandon Crosby and his wife Casey are from Huntsville, Alabama and own Chupper Time Catering. They run a large scale catering company offering services for parties of all sizes. Learn more about Brandon and Casey’s company here.

Chef Cleetus Friedman, of The Lakefront Restaurant visited from Chicago, Illinois. He offers a seasonal Midwestern fare at this restaurant and event space. This is a definite spot to visit with the location right on Lake Michigan. See the views of the restaurant here.

Chef David Anderson, of The Cohn Restaurant Group came from San Diego, California. He is the Heart of the House Operations Manager. The Cohn Restaurant Group has several restaurants in the San Diego, California area. Click here to view the list of eateries.

The next time you are in Huntsville, Chicago or San Diego make sure to visit these chefs!