DWF Programming Notes

Debra Whiting was a visionary chef in the Finger Lakes wine growing region. Her passion was not just the food as it appeared on the plate, but the food as it grew on local farms.  Debra’s philosopy was to embrace local agriculture, which supported local farmers and communities, and offered a wholesome and rewarding lifestyle to an entire region.  Drawing on her relationship with husband and winemaker David Whiting, the evolution of a truly inspired regional cuisine was developing on her plate.

The Debra Whiting Foundation was formed to carry on the vision and inspiration of Chef Debra Whiting.

Core programming of the Debra Whiting Foundation consists of culinary and agricultural scholarships, internships and apprenticeships.  The focus of programming will be to illustrate the concept that the importance of localvore cuisine goes far beyond what is served on the plate.  And it is also more than just about where the food came from.  The true value of localvore, farm to table cuisine is the fact that it encourages and enables individuals with vision and passion to create and thrive in communities of people who share these values and perspectives.
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Scholarship venues will be offered at local high schools to encourage and fund students who decide to pursue further education in culinary and/or local agriculture programs.

An infrastructure will be built to enable and facilitate rich internship opportunities for students enrolled in college or university level culinary programs.  The focus of these opportunities will be to bridge the disconnect that often occurs between what is prepared for the plate and where it came from.  Connecting the farm to the table builds the appreciation of local cuisine, farms and families.

Offered to culinary professionals not currently enrolled in other educational programs.  This multidisciplinary apprenticeship will focus on the integration of farm, table, farmer, chef and community.  Engaging the apprentice in multiple aspects and situations of farm production, food processing and restaurant preparation will build an appreciation of the “what, how and why” of the localvore approach to cuisine and agriculture.