On Aug. 23 the fourth Farm to Plate demonstration will be held at the Shelby Farmers’ Market. The chef of the day will be Chef Greg Brandes, Director of Nutrition and Food Services at OhioHealth MedCentral for both Mansfield and Shelby campuses.
Chef Greg is 44 years old. He was born in the Cleveland area but was raised here in the Lexington area. He actually started to be a performance artist on the tuba. He received a bachelor’s degree from Kent State, a Master’s degree from Illinois, and then studied with a professor in Ann Arbor. Greg then moved to New Orleans for his music. He later moved back to Lexington for several reasons, one of which is family.
During the majority of his education and his professional time in music, he supported himself by working in a restaurant – the Olive Garden. He reported that he started out as a host and moved on to become a waiter, a bartender, and then a cook.
After returning to the Mansfield area, he worked at the College of Wooster as the manager of the dining room. He decided that it would be best to work closer to Mansfield and obtained his job at Med Central in his current position as Director of Food and Nutrition. He has been in his job for 11 years. His job is a busy one. He is currently working on a new menu rotation, updating the cash register systems, and more. Greg also helps with the catering; especially as the ice carver for the events. He learned how to do this from a mentor at the hospital.
Greg reported that one of his favorite duties is to teach a monthly healthy-cooking class. Last year he taught a series of healthy grilling classes. In his classes, he teaches simple ways of making good food with as little cooking as possible. Chef Greg reports that it is the cooking and processing of foods that removes the critical enzymes that our bodies need for healthy living.
Chef Greg reported that he cooks in the style of a pescovegetarian someone who predominantly is a vegetarian but also eats fish. This is a Mediterranean style diet which is centered on wheat, berries, different grains such as quinoa, various rices, and little meat, preferably fish.
When Chef Greg is not working, he spends time with his wife, Dee, and son, Sam. He also enjoys riding bicycles and has a number of bicycles himself. He most enjoys riding his mountain bike with the perks of enjoying the scenery. It is not unusual for him to go for a ride after work with friends and end up riding 50 miles in only a few hours.
We asked how he evolved into completing Triathlons (2011) and living so healthily. He reported that he finally realized that smoking a pack a day of cigarettes and not exercising was not good for his health. This led to his philosophy of how to cook and how to stay healthy- minimal ingredients and minimally cooking of the fresh products.
Richland County Farm to Plate is a program from the Hazelgrove Farm Bureau Community Council held at the Farmer’s Market in Shelby. The Richland Community Development Group Local Foods/Ag sector, the Shelby Foundation and Creating Healthy Communities and a host of other partners, supporters and volunteers have joined together to provide this exciting program linking the growers of our local foods with local chefs and with consumers. The cooking demonstration includes the opportunity for taste testing. Recipes and “Market Money” to buy needed ingredients at the market are available. Kids are included in healthy activities too with concurrent sessions presented by Kim Stover from the Shelby YMCA. This is a great opportunity to learn about and support our local food economy, and to be newly inspired to eat healthy and to eat fresh. Stay up to date with Richland County Farm to Plate events by “liking” us on Facebook!