Cathy McKnight, the executive chef of Eilo’s Kitchen, is a food forager who seeks out the highest quality ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. Focusing on hyper-local ingredients ensures Eilo’s diners experience the bounty of the region and the freshness of local ingredients.
You have been with us for the past 7 Green Feast celebrations, what does it mean to you to be helping us celebrate our 10th Green Feast?
It means that we are all working towards is gaining momentum. All of the chefs, farmers, ranchers, community members and (our beloved) The Ecology Center, the beating heart of it all. A changed food system is wanted, alive and the shift is happening all around us. The commodity food world is having to respond to the demand for food production accountability.
What makes you excited / motivates you to keep coming back to the table with us each September?
The excitement from all of the chefs is contagious. When we are all together in the communal kitchen working with joy over this beautiful food and then watching the pleasure in which it is received by the guests, it’s magic!
Of the 10 community table principles, which did you select to represent your dishes during Green Feast?
I’m greedy, I selected all of them. We are cooking Pasturebird Chickens. The ranchers that breed the chickens are regenerative farmers, committed to our environment, animal welfare, and education. They are creating a movement towards health and wellness, food as medicine. We will support that every dish of the day!
Why does this principle resonate so strongly with you?
I believe that the current USDA food standards promote disease, we would like to encourage a huge shift so that quality food is available to all, we can only do this by making well grown and sourced food the new standard.
Elios Kitchen’s main philosophy is Micro sourcing; can you explain this in more detail?
We use our buying power to research the farms and ranches that support our mission of nourishment and optimal health. As of now, many of these sources are small, but together they are making an impact.
How is this practice something that someone can adopt in their daily life?
Demand to know where your food comes from and how it’s produced. Vote with your dollar.
If there was one behavior you would suggest that our community could change to have a positive impact on our future, what would that be?
Join the movement towards great health, support the concept of food as medicine. If you can do this 80% of the time we can make a big impact.
When you imagine the future of food, what do you hope to see?
I see community farms and ranches. Places where people can come and see where their food is produced. My hope is they would thrive because of this transparency. Prescription medication is the last resort, not the first. Let’s turn this current condition upside down! And have a delicious time doing so.