Brendan Corkery Discusses How to Access Fresh Vegetables in the Ohio Off-Season

Brendan Corkery

February 28, 2021

Access Fresh Vegetables in the Ohio Off-Season

Brendan Corkery recently discussed how to access fresh vegetables during the Ohio off-season.


AKRON, OHIO / Local food sourcing is a popular and beneficial trend in the restaurant industry. Sourcing food locally means aiding in the success of local farmers and growers and serving the freshest and most healthful foods to your customers. Brendan Corkery is an experienced restaurateur with a focus on sourcing food locally and other eco-friendly tactics. He recently discussed how Ohio restaurant owners and chefs can access fresh vegetables in the off-season.


“Accessing fresh, local produce in the winter and early spring months is easier than most restaurant owners think,” Brendan Corkery said. “It just takes a little extra work and a dose of creativity.”


Brendan Corkery explained that one of the best ways to find fresh, local produce in the off-season is to buy from the farmers themselves. Certain vegetables can be planted in early fall and harvested in early winter, such as kale, bok choy, beets, winter squash, brussels sprouts, and leeks. Late harvest vegetables allow you to have fresh produce well into the early months of winter.


Brendan Corkery explained that as winter continues, many Ohio growers and farmers begin to grow produce in indoor garden spaces. The farmers themselves along with local co-ops tend to sell locally-grown produce year-round. Winter produce may come at a slightly higher cost, but your customers will appreciate your effort to serve locally-grown items.


Brendan Corkery explained that trends are shifting more and more toward eco-friendly practices, and restaurant-goers are willing to pay for foods that are locally-sourced. That’s because locally-sourced items travel shorter distances (using less fuel), benefit the local economy, and are generally grown without the use of toxic pesticides and other chemicals.


“Getting creative is a major part of owning a restaurant during the Ohio winter,” Brendan Corkery said. “Chefs who plan ahead can preserve their own vegetables.”


Brendan Corkery gave examples, such as pickling summer vegetables to serve in the winter months or canning a pasta sauce made from fresh, local produce. You’ll need the right equipment to ensure your items are pickled, fermented, canned, or frozen properly, but those who are dedicated to serving local produce are willing to make the effort.


Brendan Corkery finished by stating that a chilly state like Ohio may not be the easiest for serving 100-percent local produce year-round, but it can be done with the correct mindset. Serving more fresh, nutritious, and environmentally-responsible food is worth working a little harder during the harsh winter months.


“As a restaurant owner or manager, you’ll quickly learn that serving fresh, local Ohio produce is what your customers want,” Brendan Corkery. “That alone is the inspiration needed to make it happen.”