A week before their storied annual rivalry football game, the University of Michigan Wolverines scraped knives against the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University in a culinary battle on the field of The Culinary Vegetable Institute (CVI) in Milan, OH, for a special Earth to Table Dinner.
All courses were prepared using ingredients that are representative of their region and traditions. The sold-out event featured friends of CVI, as well as fans of each school. Following a vote taken after the dinner, the chefs from U-M were pronounced the winners.
Large tailgate displays that featured an assortment of maize and blue (U-M's school colors) on one side and scarlet and gray (Ohio State colors) on the other helped guests get into the spirit as soon as they entered the dining lodge.
Even the chefs wore appropriate team hats. To add further excitement, members of a local high school band played a few songs from each university's songbook during the evening.
Earth to Table Dinners take place monthly at The Culinary Vegetable Institute and are exclusive gatherings of up to 120 guests in the intimate setting of a wooded, riverside lodge. The events feature high quality sustainable ingredients, including seasonal vegetables grown on the nearby Chef's Garden farm, interpreted in the unique culinary style of visiting chefs from all over the country.
According to Peter Veach, U-M's lead chef for University Catering, 90% of the ingredients used in the meal were locally sourced.
For a video of the event, go to video. food-management.com/playlist/colleges-university-foodservice.