Off-season produce pilot launching in more Bon Appétit accounts

Program flash freezes produce for use in winter.

Jan. 26—This year, Bon Appétit’s Ohio locations, including Cleveland Botanical Garden, The Market Café, Abercrombie & Fitch and Otterbein University will begin taking part in a season extention pilot program that began two years ago at Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College. The program included a partnership with the Center for Innovative Food Technology, and allows Bon Appétit’s chefs to serve ripe summer produce after harvest season. The produce is harvested all summer and then flash frozen in batches for use during the off season.

The program is known as micro-processing, which is the small-scale preservation of locally grown foods through cryogenic freezing. Freshly picked items such as corn, peas, apples, green beans and berries are flash-frozen for use in the off season, which helps to extend the use of fresh produce in Ohio.

During the 2011 growing season, CIFT processed more than 25,000 pounds of produce for Bon Appétit.