charlotte chef supports local farms through weekly meals

What do you do when your dining room is forced to close? While many have opted to offer takeout, Upstream has made the ultimate safe decision to keep its doors locked during this time. However, that hasn’t stopped Executive Chef Sam Diminich from cooking up a storm.

As Chef Diminich dealt with the loss of his job, he also worried what would happen to our local farms. If restaurants were unable to source from them at typical capacity, what would be become of those communities? With these concerns in mind, Chef Diminich formed Your Farms Your Table.

“My initial concerns were with our local suppliers, how would they survive if there are no restaurants to sell to, and how I would be able to take care of my family,” said Chef Diminich. “I have never been on unemployment and had no experience with it, plus I was and still am able to work. Nothing made sense. So I put together this farms support meal system. That was my pivot.”

How does it work? Each week, Chef Diminich visits local farms and markets to get his ingredients. He then crafts a three-course meal and sells it for just $30. Delivery is included. To order, simply send a private message to @chefsamdiminich on Instagram. Meals typically include a soup or salad, a main course with lots of vegetables, and a simple dessert.

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Through social media, Chef Diminich has been able to share the stories of these vendors, too. A quick scroll through his Instagram feed will highlight his own passion for the industry and the passions of local farmers and purveyors.

This time away from the restaurant has also given Chef Diminich a unique opportunity to spend more time at home with his family.

In other news, Chef Diminich has partnered up with local food Instagrammer and content creator Sarah Chatham of Charlotte Food Scene to host a virtual cooking class this Wednesday, May 13 at 6 p.m. As you may recall, Chef Diminich beat Bobby Flay on Food Network a few months ago with his Lobster and Bay Scallop Risotto dish.

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During this class, guests will watch Chef Diminich prepare the famous entrée and conduct a Q&A. Fifty percent of all proceeds will go to the chef. The $10 ticket also includes step-by-step instructions to recreate the dish at home and a chance to win a $50 Upstream gift card during the live feed. Get your tickets here.


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