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Aug. 1 Farm to Plate with Chef Michael Morton

Published Jul. 30, 2015 | Discuss this article on Facebook

Hazel Grove Farm Bureau Community Council, Richland County Farm Bureau, and Shelby Farmers’ Market would like to welcome you to the August 1 demonstration of the 'Farm to Plate' program. This program will demonstrate how the produce, fruits, and meats from our farms can be prepared by our chefs for your plates. Today this will be done by our featured chef Michael Morton. He is the head chef for the Brown Derby Roadhouse and the Ontario Event Center.

Chef Morton started his career in the restaurant business at the age of 16 at the Ontario Brown Derby Roadhouse as a table-busser. He learned about the different areas of the restaurant including cooking. While he worked there, he met a great waitress named Louise whom he later married. (He met her at a different restaurant).  When Michael graduated from high school, he realized that he needed further training in order to become a chef. Michael enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Pittsburgh.

 After graduating from culinary school, he went to work for the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain. He traveled to the new restaurants to help train the incoming staff. He then spent the next few years as a chef in a fine dining restaurant in the Short North Area of Columbus.  Chef Morton returned to this area to be closer to his family.

 When the chef was asked about the concept of 'Farm to Plate,' he reported that he uses as much fresh produce as he can get from this area whether it is from a small farmer or through the Blooming Grove auction which is near Shiloh and is made up of small growers.

 When Chef Michael is not working at the restaurant, he enjoys and keeps busy by raising a large garden and then cans the produce from it. He has a flock of chickens that they use for eggs and meat. He also makes maple syrup, bakes artisan breads, brews beer, makes cheese, and smokes meats. He also likes to work on the family farm and orchard. His plans for the future are to start an apiary, raise different kinds of livestock, and maybe a few more children. As far as trends for restaurants, smaller plates and more localized and craft beers and wines. 

 When asked for advice about cooking, his advice was to use ALL your senses- sight, sound, smell, feel, and taste. All of your senses are important whether it is selecting produce or for creating a meal for your family.

Once again, Chef Michael Morton is the head chef at the Brown Derby Roadhouse in Ontario which is famous for steaks and the Ontario Event Center which provides catering and banquets for from 25 to 1500 guests. Both facilities are located at 3985 Park Avenue, Ontario. (419) 529-2959

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