We caught up with Chef Kal Darres of the Sunset Café inside the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to highlight two specialties from the menu.
Chef Darres says, “… the fresh crust with the herb sauce, the herbs are in the sauce- basil, oregano and thyme, a mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheese, the roasted vegetables, mushrooms, peppers, roasted eggplant and plum tomatoes. (And) the Sunset Salad, a mixture of micro greens, with the fresh strawberries, mandarin oranges, and the walnuts.”
Chef Darres also showed us how to make the perfect citrus dressing with garlic and fresh fruit to compliment that salad. “And usually you go two parts oil to one part acid or in this case citrus to emulsify the dressing.”
He, along with Environmental Education Supervisor Anne Desarro, say choosing the healthy and fresh foods the cafe serves up is a win-win situation. It's not sitting in a window; it's not sitting under a heat lamp - it's made fresh to order. Sometimes it might take a couple of extra minutes for people to wait but when they get their sandwich or meal, they're definitely thankful and appreciative.
Desarro says, “When school kids come here, when the public comes here, we want them to have a healthy lunch as opposed to a fast food lunch. Healthy eating is good for the environment, food that's grown locally, organically is a reflection of our 'green' building here.”
Desarro says healthy eating is a perfect segue into being able to enjoy the activities on the park... and there's a slew of them coming up in August.
“We have a fishing workshop, Fish On!, which is a two-day workshop where folks can learn how to fish, we have a kayak paddle on Lake Erie and we also have a kayak paddle at Erie Bluffs State Park.”
There's also an early morning bike ride with park naturalists and kids programs aplenty. If you'd like more information, call the park office at 833-7424.