MONTGOMERY, Ala., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH), one of the largest hospitality companies in Alabama, today announced a bold new initiative focused on promoting regional food that includes growers, purveyors, consumers, chefs and restaurateurs, amateur cooks, food banks, and non-profits promoting healthy lifestyles.
"Wind Creek's Southern Table: Setting a Place for Good Food" is a multi-faceted initiative spearheaded by WCH President Jay Dorris. Designed to expand access to good food for citizens across the region, this effort will promote the culinary industry and its traditions, and support locally grown and produced food.
In making today's announcement in Montgomery, WCH's Vice President of Marketing Michael Perhaes was joined by Edwin Marty, Executive Director of EATSouth, which has an urban farm in downtown Montgomery, and Caroline Rosen, Executive Director of Front Porch Revival, an organization comprised of regional culinary professionals.
Perhaes said, "The good food that is grown all across our region should be available to everyone, and we are making a targeted effort to have what's grown here and what's made locally offered on our Wind Creek menus. We also want to make sure that our culinary community is valued and encouraged to grow."
Wind Creek Hospitality is extremely fortunate to have great partners in these efforts like EATSouth and Front Porch Revival."
"Wind Creek's Southern Table" encompasses several strategies. First, it will offer philanthropic support to organizations such as EAT South, which encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production. "Wind Creek's Southern Table" will also support food pantries and other food distribution efforts aimed at helping needy families across the region.
Edwin Marty, EATSouth's Executive Director noted, "Having a company the size of Wind Creek Hospitality involved in making good food accessible has the potential to make a powerful impact on our State and our region."
As part of "Wind Creek's Southern Table" commitment to local growers and purveyors, Wind Creek Hospitality has also committed to using locally grown and produced food in all of its restaurants whenever possible. Already, WCH's food and beverage operations at its properties, Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Wetumpka and Creek Casino Montgomery, play a major role in supporting local food production.
For example, in the past 6 months, WCH has purchased 243,190 pounds of local chicken, 48,670 pounds of local catfish, 912 Alabama-made cakes and 15,280 pounds of locally made sausage. WCH's chefs have also committed to regularly featuring more seasonal produce and specialty products such as Belle Chevre cheese made in Elkmont, Alabama.
Additionally, as part of "Wind Creek's Southern Table" initiative, WCH is continuing to work with smaller producers and local growers on challenges they face with distribution and quantity of available items. For example, WCH and its produce supplier, Southeastern Fresh Produce, have developed a new system of distribution that provides a way for small Community Supported Agriculture enterprises, like Season in the Sun Farm in Baldwin County, to sell their fresh produce commercially.
Several efforts to promote culinary excellence are also part of "Wind Creek's Southern Table" including sponsorship of food festivals such as Gulf Shore's Annual National Shrimp Festival and amateur cooking events like barbeque cook-offs.
"Wind Creek Hospitality's commitment is going to make a huge difference to the restaurant industry and the future of food in our region," said Caroline Rosen. "Not only will 'Wind Creek's Southern Table' support our local farmers, it will also mean that more great chefs will be trained here and have notable careers without leaving home."
"Wind Creek's Southern Table" will have a rolling kitchen supporting many of its programs and projects. The 24-foot long food truck, which took 5 1/2 months to outfit, has been dubbed "Good to Go". It has an industrial kitchen onboard with the capability of producing hundreds of meals at a time. The truck's traveling culinary ambassador, Chef Paul Norton, has promised that the truck will not only serve good food, it will also serve as a rolling repository of information about good food in the region – where to get it and how to make it.
"I want to have 'Good to Go' be a place where people can talk about, learn about, and enjoy great food," said Chef Paul. "This is a chance for WCH to really support the growers and food producers in our region and share great meals with our neighbors. It will truly be a moveable feast."
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Follow "Good to Go" on Facebook/tastewindcreek and Twitter @tastewindcreek #goodtogo
About Wind Creek Hospitality
Wind Creek Hospitality operates casinos, hotels, racetracks, poker rooms, and entertainment facilities in Alabama and Florida including the 236-room resort Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, the 283-room resort Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka, Creek Casino Montgomery and Mobile Greyhound Park in Alabama. In Florida, WCH operates the Pensacola Greyhound Track & Poker Room and Creek Entertainment Gretna. Wind Creek Hospitality is an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
The Poarch Creek Indians are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation, which once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. Unlike many eastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Alabama.
The reservation is located eight miles northwest of Atmore, Alabama, in rural Escambia County, and 57 miles east of Mobile. The Poarch Creek Indians is the only federally recognized Indian Tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation with its own system of government and bylaws. The Tribe operates a variety of economic enterprises, employing thousands of area residents.
SOURCE Wind Creek Hospitality