We The People Opportunity Farm and Plum Market Kitchen at The Henry Ford
Melvin Parson Gardening during the Entrepreneurship Interview, April 5, 2019 / THF295401
Our culinary team at The Henry Ford is continuously inspired by the stories we tell from our collections and the modern-day changemakers we have the privilege to work with. We’re also always looking for partners whose goals mesh with The Henry Ford’s goals for our food programming. Executive Chef David McGregor of The Henry Ford notes those include “understanding the connection that we have with the food we consume and passing this knowledge down to future generations to ensure a sustainable food system,” as well as “taking the time to understand the seasonality of the food grown in your region and building relationships with local farmers and artisans to create menus that reflect that availability as the seasons change.”
Last year the team created a series of recipes inspired by the work of George Washington Carver; this fall we worked with local farmer and social entrepreneur Melvin Parson, utilizing the products from his farm at The Henry Ford in Plum Market Kitchen. Parson is no stranger to The Henry Ford. As the founder of We The People Opportunity Farm, he was the Spring 2019 Entrepreneur in Residence at The Henry Ford, funded by the William Davidson Foundation Initiative for Entrepreneurship.
Learn more about Parson and his vision for change:
- How Melvin Parson Created an Urban Farming Initiative
- Melvin Parson: Market Gardener and Social Entrepreneur
- Innovation Journey with Melvin Parson
- Agriculture Pioneer Melvin Parson
We worked with Parson and his farm this fall to provide locally sourced ingredients in our restaurants, like those found in our Heirloom Tomato Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette. Enjoy it during a visit to Plum Market Kitchen, and then try making it on your own at home.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette (serves many)
Ingredients: Tomato Prep
- 15 heirloom tomatoes
- 2 yellow onions, julienned thin
- 1 cup white wine vinaigrette
- 1 cup basil chiffonade
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ black pepper
- Cut tomatoes into 1” chunks and place in a colander for a few minutes to drain excess moisture.
- Place tomatoes in a large bowl with other dry ingredients.
- Fold in Dressing for service, being careful to keep the tomato pieces intact.
- Add all ingredients except oil and blend until smooth
- Slowly add oil while blending until everything is incorporated.
Lish Dorset is former Marketing Manager, Non-Admission Products, at The Henry Ford.
by Lish Dorset, farms and farming, entrepreneurship, recipes, restaurants, food