Dining hall serves local lunch

In order to support the economy, benefit health, a lunch showcasing fresh food will be held at Hillside


JONI COBARRUBIAS | The Daily Evergreen

Executive Chef Jason Butcherite prepares Hillside Cafe’s menu of fresh, local ingredients. The quicker people consume food from when it is first harvested, the more nutrients they receive compared to long-traveled and less fresh foods.

MARIAH INMAN, Evergreen reporter

Hillside Cafe is hosting Palouse Farms to Cougar Forks, a lunch where high-quality, fresh food will be served today.

Jason Butcherite, executive chef of Hillside Cafe, said all the food they use supports the local economy.

“Every single item and every single ingredient will be [locally or regionally sourced],” he said.

In this lunch, Butcherite said some of the food will be from the food co-op in Spokane, Local Inland Northwest Cooperative.

Hillside began using LINC as their way of getting more options for locally and regionally sourced produce, dried legumes and grains, said Cindy Carlson-Combs, Hillside Cafe general manager.

“We’re kind of just testing the waters, seeing how things operate,” Butcherite said. “Eventually the other units, Northside and Southside will … be using [LINC] as well.”

Local products are considered superior to other foods that travel from thousands of miles away, Butcherite said. The food is fresher and gets to the consumer’s plate faster.

Hillside Cafe considers locally sourced foods to be those produced within a 150-mile radius of Pullman, and regionally sourced foods within a 350-mile radius, Carlson-Combs said.
“For Hillside in particular,” Butcherite said, “about 50 percent of our produce is locally sourced.”


Examples of locally sourced vendors include Omache Farm, Wilson Banner Ranch, the WSU Organic Farm and the WSU Premium Beef team of the Department of Animal Sciences, Butcherite said. A regionally sourced vendor is Cascade Aqua Farms.

The areas included within this can be seen at Hillside Cafe, on the Washington map where each area is circled.

One of Dining Services’ initiatives is to use locally and regionally sourced providers to uplift the area’s economy, Carlson-Combs said.

In order to do this, their menu can change to utilize what products the farmers have available at the time, Carlson-Combs said.

Palouse Farms to Cougar Forks will have a Chef’s Demo Table featuring meats from the WSU Department of Animal Sciences. There will be a chef’s creation station and natural station for customers to buy from, she said.

The natural station offers food that does not contain the top eight allergens, which are gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, fish, shellfish and tree nuts.

Palouse Farms to Cougar Forks is from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at Hillside Cafe. Anyone can purchase food, but the prices will be slightly higher than normal dining hall prices.