If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen that I was in New York a few weeks ago. I have lots to share with you about the trip, but let’s start with the reason I went!!
I have been working with Jones Dairy Farm for about a year now (I’ve talked about their products a lot – I love them!!). They were holding an event at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. When I received my invite, I knew I couldn’t turn it down!!
After a delicious breakfast made with lots of Jones products, we headed into one of the kitchens to learn all about the different pork products that Jones Dairy Farm makes. Although I’ve been using their products for some time now, and I knew that I loved them, I actually learned so much about the production of products overall.
Rick Lowry, Executive Vice President for Jones Dairy Farm gave us a crash course in how Jones products are produced versus many other products on the market. I already knew that their products are free from preservatives, fillers, msg, and gluten, but I guess I never put together just how big of a deal that is. The recipes that Jones Dairy Farm uses are the same that they have been using for 125 years. They don’t cut corners to save costs. Quality is what matters.
I think the biggest eye opener for me was to learn about what some companies do to cut costs. Like use casings that are basically covered in liquid smoke to give their products the smoked flavor. Where Jones Dairy Farm actually smokes their products. We also got to see some of the “white slime” that some companies use for their turkey products. Gross. You will find no white slime in the Jones Dairy Farm products. These are things that I don’t think about when I am at the grocery store buying a package of bacon, but it’s something that I’ll be thinking about now!!
We also got to see what part of the pig the products came from. It was a great learning experience. And it made me hungry!!
Good thing we headed into the kitchen next. One of the instructors at the school gave us a quick knife skills lesson. I’m usually pretty safe with a knife, and I’m comfortable with one, but let’s just say I can’t make my cuts even and uniform to save my life. But it was fun!!
We got to spend some time cutting up carrots, onions and celery root. I did want to steal one of those big fat cutting boards, though!! Pictured above: Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny, me, Gina from Running to the Kitchen
Then it was competition time!! We were divided into groups and got to participate in a chopped-style competition. Our group made a great comfort dish with apples, onions and ham over mashed potatoes and rutabega, and a killer salad with shaved Brussels sprouts, pickled beets and bacon. (If you want to see a version of that salad, Brandy made one!) Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but it was fun and the food was great!
After lunch, we were able to take a quick tour of the Culinary Institute of America campus. It was Saturday, so it was quiet on campus except for the 2 kitchens for the 2 restaurants that were open. The building used to be a Jesuit Monistary before the CIA purchased it. It was a very cool building, and many comments were made about how it looked like Hogwarts. 🙂
The campus has 3 fully operating restaurants, staffed entirely by students. Each student has to spend time doing every job in the restaurants, from chef to front of the house. I missed dinner at one of the restaurants that night because I wasn’t feeling well, but I would love to take a trip back one day just to eat there!! I have heard amazing things about the food.
It was such a fun day and I loved getting to see a behind the scenes look at such a prestigious culinary school. It was a day full of education and entertainment, and of course, great food!
**Disclosure – This is not a sponsored post, but Jones Dairy Farm covered my travel expenses. I was not required to write about the experience, but I wanted to share with all of you!!**