Illustration: Emily Julka.

Tickets are still available for the annual Farm to Flavor Dinner on Thursday, Aug. 24, hosted by the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative and Allen Centennial Garden. This event is a celebration of organic plant breeding and biodiversity in food.

Seven talented Madison chefs will create inventive small plate dishes featuring outstanding and unusual vegetable varieties from this season’s Seed to Kitchen Collaborative, a program of the UW-Madison Department of Horticulture that brings chefs, local farmers and plant breeders together to develop more productive and delicious vegetable crops for Midwestern organic farmers.

“Every season, a handful of spectacular varieties emerge from our variety trials, with both the productivity and the flavor characteristics that farmers and their culinary customers want,” says Kitt Healy, program coordinator for the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative. “These are the varieties that we bring to the public through the Farm to Flavor event.”

This year’s event will feature beets bred for high and low levels of the compound geosmin, which lends the root its earthy flavor; chili peppers bred for low levels of spice; tomatoes and carrots of every color with disease resistances important to organic farmers; and new lines of culinary sweet corn, made from crosses between chef and farmer favorites from previous seasons.

Farm to Flavor 2017 will be held at the Discovery Building on the UW-Madison campus, immediately following an organic vegetable field day at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station, and a garden tour of Allen Centennial Gardens. The event will also feature a talk from Lane Selman, founding director of the Culinary Breeding Network in Portland, Ore., regarding the important role plant breeders have to play in creating a sustainable food future.

Participating chefs in the 2017 Farm to Flavor event include:

  • Eric Benedict, Café Hollander
  • Yusuf Bin-Rella, Four Lakes Market, UW-Madison
  • Dan Bonanno, Pig in a Fur Coat
  • Joe Cloute, Heritage Catering
  • Sean Foggarty, Steenbock’s on Orchard
  • Jonny Hunter, Underground Food Collective
  • Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Graze, Estrellon, Sujeo

Registration information and event details can be found on or at