At our Farm-to-Fork Dinner last month we had beef bulgogi with coconut sticky rice appetizers that were so delicious, we just had to get the recipe. So, we sat down with Chef Jeni, who catered the event, to talk about the recipe, the event and what it’s like to be a caterer in South Dakota.
HFT: You recently volunteered your time for our Farm-to-Fork Dinner. Thank you! What drew you to the event?
Chef Jeni: It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know some more local farmers, showcase their products and meet other people who care about the food they eat. It was a fun night to share with the community.
HFT: Do you think it’s important for South Dakotans to know where their food comes from?
Chef Jeni: Absolutely! People are more involved in educating themselves about where their food comes from, and I think it’s fantastic. We can get disconnected from our food when we see it in the grocery store. It’s important to remember that the food on our plates comes from real farms and real farmers.
HFT: Do you work with farmers in your catering business?
Chef Jeni: Whenever seasonal and possible, we source our products from local farmers. You can learn a lot talking to farmers about how food is raised. I love making that connection to the food I prepare.
HFT: As a South Dakota native, what’s your favorite local or regional food?
Chef Jeni: I am a sweet corn fanatic. Sometimes, that’s all we have for dinner at my house. We also love to buy melons at the roadside stands.
Chef Jeni said she likes this recipe because it’s easy to prepare, versatile and flavorful. You can serve it as a main course or in smaller portions as an appetizer like she did at the Farm-to-Fork Dinner.
The beef Chef Jeni used to prepare this recipe came from the family farm of John Horter in Andover. In addition to raising beef cattle, they grow soybeans, corn, spring wheat and alfalfa. John has been farming with his father for more than 15 years, and it really is a family affair. His son Dane is young but loves to be involved in all aspects of farming. Most farms in South Dakota are run just like John’s, as a family operation. In fact, 96 percent of the 2.2 million farms in the United States are family-owned farms. And, 98 percent of South Dakota farms are family owned and operated.