What does hemp, raw fish, and super coffee beans have in common?
Hint- They were all key ingredients in the food products being offered by our local entrepreneurs featured at the Universities of Shady Grove’s first annual Entréepreneurship food conference.
In case you missed it, on December 3, 2014, students, staff and the general public were invited to sample an exciting array of dishes and food products crafted by our savvy local food entrepreneurs. Most notable were the hemp seed energy bars, the delicious vanilla ice cream sandwiches with organic cornflakes, and my favorite, the Peruvian ceviche: a delicious dish of lime-marinated morsels of fresh tilapia blended with fierce aji spice, perfectly balanced with fresh cilantro and onion. No need to book a flight to Peru when we have the best of its gastronomy here in the greater D.C. area.
The event was not to be overshadowed by the wonderful food samples. Each representative I met was almost as unique as their food product creations. I learned of all the positive benefits of consuming hemp seeds, the most nutritionally healthy seed on earth, from a spiritually in-tuned hemp seed guru (I am certain that she effectively indulges in this plant in every way possible). I received a lesson on small batch production of dairy products offered by the corky hipster ice cream manufacturer. I got to practice my español with a proud group of latinos. And my most inspiring encounter came from Ryan Schueler, a University of Shady Grove campus alumni, cofounder of Javazen superbrew: a concoction of roasted coffee, raw cacao nibs, and matcha green tea that promises the energy boost and alertness of traditional coffee without the jitters.
The crown event of the food entrepreneurship conference was a powerful and insightful key note speech by Andrew J. Sherman, a professor of business at Robert H. School of Business at Shady Grove. He gave a descriptive overview of the current restaurant industry and provided invaluable advice for the future restaurateurs in the audience. Perhaps I am biased since I have many years experience as a server, but I found the speech intellectually stimulating and very interesting. I believe everyone left the conference that day with the dream of opening their own restaurant.
The cost of entry was five dollars. The proceeds were collected and counted and this inaugural year saw a total of $1,200 in donations that would go on to support the Food Recovery Network.
For next time, remember to stay connected through our twitter account for all upcoming event. @USGStudentLife