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Local Foods Conference to Feature Chef Deborah Madison

Posted 10/9/2017 4:07pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Nationally recognized chef, cooking instructor and cookbook author, Chef Deborah Madison is the keynote speaker at this year’s annual SD Local Foods Conference (SDLFC), November 2-4, in Spearfish, SD.

Conference participants will have numerous opportunities to meet and interact with Chef Madison at conference sessions, the Friday evening social, and a book-signing event. Her latest cookbook ‘In My Kitchen’ shares 100 vegetable-focused recipes perfect for weeknight dinners to special occasions.

“Connecting people to the food they eat, its source and its history, has long been my work, and writing is one way to reveal the deeper culture of food. My interests lay with issues of biodiversity, seasonal and local eating, farmers markets, small and mid-scale farming, farmers and ranchers, gardens and gardeners,” Madison said. 

Chef Madison has been involved with the Slow Food movement in various capacities for more than a decade. She served on the board of the Seed Savers Exchange and was co-director of the Monte del Sol Edible Kitchen Garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Chef Madison will participate in three sessions at the conference. Her keynote "If I Were Visiting South Dakota, What Would I Want to Eat?” will discuss the importance of regional foods to a place and why they can be compelling to visitors. She will provide attendees with ideas for showcasing local foods.  

She will expand on the theme of her keynote talk during an open discussion session with attendees on ups and downs involved in featuring local foods and connecting food to tourism. Additionally, on Nov. 2, she will join Chef Scott Brinker of Rapid City Regional Healthcare and Rachel Headley of Cobblestone Science during an afternoon pre-conference session that will address local foods in healthcare.  

This SDLFC provides educational programming and networking opportunities for producers, chefs, grocers, nutrition programs, consumers, local food enthusiasts, people interested in agri-tourism opportunities, and resource providers of specialty crops and other local food products. Other components of the event include vendor booths and meals using local foods.  

The SDLFC will provide an expanded offering of in-depth learning sessions on Nov. 2 including resources and technical assistance, farm to school, SNAP at farmers markets, fruit growing, 12-month greenhouse, food safety, and local foods & healthcare.  A free film, ‘Seeds, an Untold Story,’sponsored by Black Hills State University Sustainability Program, will show Thursday evening.  

The full conference, Nov. 3-4, offers breakout sessions on marketing, production, health, and business tracks. Click here for a full schedule. Friday evening will offer an exciting  ‘Dine & Discover,’ social event with appetizers that showcase chefs’ & producers’ food pairings, SD beverages and networking. The social will have a separate registration fee.  

Registration is $100/person ($75 for one day). A special student rate will be offered to currently enrolled college, technical institute and university students for $39.50/day. Proof of enrollment required. Registration includes general and breakout sessions, a light breakfast, snacks and lunch.

Register here and complete your online payment for any of the conference and pre-conference sessions.   

Continuing Education hours are available to chefs and Master Gardeners who participate in the conference. 

The Local Foods Conference is sponsored by a collaboration of partners including the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Dakota Rural Action, USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Small Business Development Center, SD Value Added Ag Development Center, Xanterra, Good Earth Natural Foods, American Culinary Federation Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, SARE, Ecotone Foundation, Best Day Farms, Black Hills Food Hub, Spearfish Local, Visit Spearfish, and Black Hills State University Sustainability Program.

Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend. Direct any questions to conference organizers at or 605-681-6793.

For more information visit South Dakota Local Foods Conference Event or Follow the South Dakota Local Foods Conference online.