Culinary Program Joins Forces with Area Chefs in ‘Tomato Crush’

A group of students in the Culinary Program will be chopping, crushing, and stirring end-of-season tomatoes into gallons of tomato sauce alongside Chef Greg Eisele, director of the program and president of the American Culinary Federation Smoky Mountain Chapter, and other instructors during the second annual James Bosi Tomato Crush Saturday, August 27, at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Eisele is working with Knoxville Convention Center Executive Chef Christopher Moore to line up volunteers and tomato donations, and the team will lead preparation of the sauce during Saturday’s event. Second Harvest Food Bank also is a key organizer of the event and will collect and distribute the prepared sauce to families in need.

“We want to take the bounty of our region and turn it into nutritious food for those in need,” Eisele said.

Volunteers are welcome to cook sauce at the Knoxville Convention Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event is open to the public, with parking at Locust Street Garage.

The event is held in memory of James Bosi, former manager of business development at Sysco and member of the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council, who organized the first Tomato Crush in 2015. Bosi died in March.

“We’re doing this in honor of a man who worked tirelessly to promote local food and helped dozens of farmers receive gap insurance,” Moore said. “This led to tons of fresh produce now available to people in our region.”

The pair hope to expand the Tomato Crush into other regional and national kitchens as a shared event. Last year’s event resulted in 1,000 gallons of homemade tomato sauce.

CONTACT:

Greg Eisele (865-974-3734, geisele@utk.edu)

Karen Dunlap (865-974-8674, kdunlap6@utk.edu)