Recently I was invited by Jones Dairy Farm to spend a day with them at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York to learn about their products, tour the school, and do a little cooking. I always love learning about where my food comes from, so I knew I couldn’t pass on this opportunity (and not to mention I’m a huge fan of their bacon and Canadian bacon). It was such a fun experience and a pleasure meeting everyone and learning about Jones Dairy Farm!
I don’t live that far from the CIA campus in NY, but I had never visited before this opportunity. Geez, totally kicking myself for that! The campus is gorgeous and right along the Hudson River and looks like something right out of a movie. We started our day off in the main dining room which kind of reminded me of something right out of Harry Potter. We had a delicious breakfast and don’t worry, I ate enough bacon for all of you! Rick Lowry, Executive VP, then gave us some background about Jones Dairy Farm and their products. Jones Dairy Farm produces all-natural and gluten-free sausage, bacon, ham, Canadian bacon, braunschweiger, scrapple, and more. The company started in 1889 by Milo Jones who was inspired by his mother’s all-natural homemade sausage and their product recipes are basically the same today as they were back then.
We then got to see some the products up close including a large slab of bacon! Doesn’t that look good??!!
We then had a knife skills demonstration and were able to try out the skills ourselves on some carrots and onions. Lets just say it’s a good thing no one took any pictures of my onions and carrots when I was done. Thankfully, I won’t be working at any restaurants anytime soon. :)
Lots of sampling going on, including several types of ham. They were SO delicious! I learned more than I ever thought I would at this event and so grateful for the opportunity. The biggest take away from the day was that I will now be looking at the ingredient lists on my meat products much more closely. There is a big difference in the ingredient list on Jones Dairy Farm products and some of their competitors so be sure to read the labels!
After we talked about the company, various products, and tried out our knife skills we had our very own cooking competition right there in the kitchen. We were split up into 4 groups and given an hour to cook a couple of dishes of our choice. Each group was given various ingredients to incorporate into the dishes and each dish had to include at least one Jones Dairy Farm product. An hour wasn’t much time to meet your other group members, plan the dishes, and actually MAKE the dishes but my group was great! I can’t say enough nice things about them. In our basket of ingredients we had to use were mushrooms, ricotta cheese, Swiss chard, bibb lettuce, and pears. We decided to make stuffed mushrooms with ricotta cheese and a Swiss chard pesto and crunchy bacon on top along with a salad with a warm vinaigrette with bacon, onion, and pear topped with crunchy scrapple “croutons”. The best part of the activity was getting to try all the dishes from the other teams. Everything was delicious!
After we ate, we took a tour of the CIA’s main building to see various classrooms and restaurants. I can’t wait to get back there to try some of the restaurants! If you’re ever in the area I would definitely suggest checking it out. There’s also a casual bakery and book store that are worth checking out.
And finally, I’m happy to announce my team won the cooking competition! So wonderful working with these fellow bloggers including Ashley (Saratoga Food Fanatic), Otis (Burnt My Fingers), and Sarah (Sarah’s Cucina Bella)!
It was an incredible day and it was a pleasure spending the day with Jones Dairy Farm and all these wonderful bloggers…
- Ashley – Saratoga Food Fanatic
- Bianca – Confessions of a Chocoholic
- Brandy – Nutmeg Nanny
- Carrie – Poet in the Pantry
- Cate – Sweetnicks
- Dan – Food In My Beard
- Deborah – Taste and Tell
- Elizabeth – Good Good Eat
- Gina – Running to the Kitchen
- Jeff & Cristina – Cooking with Jeff & Cristina
- Kimberly – Kimversations
- Lauren – Healthy Delicious
- Otis – Burnt My Fingers
- Sarah – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
The event was provided by Jones Dairy Farm but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.