DARIEN, Conn. -- An executive chef, owner of The Main Course Catering Company and culinary arts instructor at Staples High School in Westport, Cecily Gans is used to wearing many different. As with any chef or restaurateur, she likes to know exactly where her ingredients come from.
A firm believer in the farm-to-table movement, Gans makes every effort to to buy food locally, supporting area farmers markets and regional food purveyors. "It's important to source locally for food, not just to support farmers but to better understand what you're eating," she said. "Creating food that tastes good and offers nutrition is where I find pleasure as a chef."
Each summer and fall, Gans puts practice to plate and organizes demonstrations at the Westport Farmers Market, working to develop relationships between farmers, specialty food producers and consumers.Gans also preaches creativity and health to her Staples High School students, where she has taught culinary arts since 1999. As part of the curriculum, she often shares recipes she develops online, helping both her students and others interested in eating healthier.
"Experimenting in the kitchen and finding new ways to create something is fun," said Gans. "I get excited to share them with my students and love when they share new recipes with me."
For several years, Gans has used her culinary expertise to help the less fortunate, producing made-from-scratch meals for Homes for Hope, an area homeless shelter. During the cooking process, she sources many ingredients from the Westport Farmers Market, and designs the meals themselves with her students. "The work we do with some of the local shelters makes the meals have an even greater meaning to me," said Gans.
In addition to her philanthropic work, Gans owns and operates, The Main Course Catering Company, which prepares healthy food for Fairfield County residents. In honor of her charitable work in the community, New Covenant Center, a soup kitchen providing meals to thousands of lower Fairfield County residents, will welcome her as a guest speaker at their annual Harvest Table. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 12th.
For more information about New Covenant Center and the Harvest Table, click here.
Darien Rowayton Bank recognizes the community efforts of Gans and the New Covenant Center. For more information about Darien Rowayton Bank, click here.