Back to the basics

Restaurants have turned a new leaf so to speak in recent years; many have turned away from big distributors and mass meat production companies to supply produce and meat for their menus.

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Lovely cows at a farm on my adventures in Central PA

Countless restaurants in the Pittsburgh area are using homegrown local produce, meat, and dairy to fill their menus. One of the restaurants working hard to build ties with the community and take it back to nature is The Porch at Schenley in Oakland. According to Chef Kevin Hermann from The Porch at Schenley, he grows as much produce he can all while working with local farms and even Eden Hall Campus to supply produce, along with meat from other local farms, to sustain the volume of business The Porch sees.

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The Porch’s rooftop garden (Courtesy of Kevin Hermann)

Chef Kevin strives to use what he can from his own garden along with local vendors for cheese, meat, eggs, and grains that are all locally produced. He even has a mushroom man! Locally sourced food acquired from Wild Purveyors are a constant on the Porch’s menu. Chef Kevin relies on the restaurant community and local vendors to keep healthy, locally grown produce, and meat readily available. Working closely with Grow Pittsburgh, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, and 412Food Rescue  Kevin’s goal is to grow

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Homegrown beets from the Porch’s garden fall 2016

what you can, use what you grow, and give what you cannot use. He also boasts proudly about the restaurant’s sustainability and efforts the staff puts into keeping it green, in fact, The Porch is one of the three listed as a platinum level from Sustainable Pgh Restaurants. When Kevin is not cooking away in the kitchen, he is volunteering to educate local children on urban gardening along with how to cook their own healthy meals from what the can grow in their own backyards. With many areas in Pittsburgh lacking fresh healthy food, learning to grow your own and use whaScreen Shot 2017-04-02 at 6.53.07 PM.pngt you grow, can change the health of the entire community. Finding solutions to the food deserts across the Pittsburgh area and working to make The Porch stand out in the community all while giving back to the same community is one of the most important goals Chef Kevin has strived towards for almost six years of being in Oakland.

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