Helen L. Aquino, marketing manager for Village Farms International, headquartered in Eatontown, NJ, told The Produce News that the company recently hosted chefs from several Vancouver Fairmont properties at its Delta, British Columbia greenhouse for a tomato school.
“The gathering consisted of the chefs, cooks and sous-chefs from the local region including the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Fairmont Waterfront, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport and Fairmont Pacific Rim,” Aquino said.
“Chefs toured the 110-acre greenhouse facility to experience a number of Village Farms’ exclusive varieties, including ‘Heavenly Villagio Marzano’ tomatoes, ‘Delectable TOV [tomato-on-the-vine], ‘Exquisite Heirloom’ tomatoes, ‘Mini Sensation’ cherry tomatoes, ‘Sinfully Sweet’ Campari tomatoes and ‘Juicy’ beefsteak tomatoes,” she said.
Aquino added that Dirk De Jong, regional manager of Village Farms Canada said he was pleased to host this event for area chefs to help achieve a greater understanding of what goes into growing Village Farms’ unique and exclusive varieties.
“The type of hydroponic greenhouse farming we do is considered controlled environment agriculture, meaning plants are getting precise amounts of water and nutrients it in a very environmentally efficient manner,” said De Jong. “This method of farming produces great tasting fruits and vegetables with superior quality and food safety.
“I am very happy to share our love of farming with the top area chefs by having them experience this first-hand,” he continued.
Darren Brown, executive chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim was also on site for the cooking school. He noted, “You walk into the greenhouse and as you start to taste these tomatoes you immediately get excited about how they are grown due to their amazing flavor. Tomatoes that come out of Village Farms beautiful indoor garden greenhouses are not short of anything but awesome.”
Village Farms’ highly technical greenhouses are located in Canada, the United States and in foreign countries. Its customers are major retailers, foodservice operators and wholesale distributors who are spread across Canada and the U.S.