Jamie Moore is director of sourcing and sustainability for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, where he develops and executes initiatives that strengthen the company’s sustainability efforts—something he’s extremely passionate about. A resident of Mt. Lebanon—where he lives with his wife Michelle and their two cats, Tiger and Marley—Jamie is also on the Slow Food PGH steering team and heavily involved in the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council and Mt. Lebanon Suitability Committee.
Monday, February 1
All my weekdays pretty much start off around 5:30 a.m. when I’m in town. Today, I arrive at the gym at the Eat’n Park Corporate Support Center in Homestead at 7 a.m. Some days I opt for a P90X routine, but today it’s a seven-mile run on the treadmill. My focus today is to work on our 2015 local-spend report that details how much each of our locations purchased from local purveyors and vendors. The project will take weeks to complete – in 2014 we purchased more than $23.6 million in local purchases, which is slightly more than 19% of our total purchasing budget.
I head home around 4:30 – tonight’s agenda includes ordering supplies for a nut brown ale I plan to brew with my friends next week.
Tuesday, February 2
Today I’m on the road meeting with one of our local FarmSource partners. (FarmSource is a program that I was instrumental in developing almost 15 years ago – it’s the name of Eat’n Park’s local purchasing program that allows us to offer our guests locally grown and produced foods.) Even though the summer growing season is months away, we’re already planning what we plan to grow for our restaurants and clients.
My first stop is Yarnick’s Farm in Indiana, PA. Dan and Lynette Yarnick are huge supporters of Eat’n Park and are committed to ensuring that we have the freshest ingredients for our Soup Salad & Fruit Bar. This year, we asked Yarnick’s to grow our leaf lettuce hydroponically (in water) in one of their greenhouses rather than in the field. The lettuce is growing quite well, and we plan to test it in our restaurants in March.
Dan will send me on my way with a basket full of fresh produce which I use later when cooking dinner for Michelle.
Wednesday, February 3
Today’s focus is Parkhurst, our dining division that’s responsible for food preparation in corporations, colleges and universities. Duquesne University is a Parkhurst client and I’m meeting with four students in the university’s Sustainable MBA program. The students are conducting research to determine the possibilities of turning everyday waste into cooking fuel for our newest restaurant, The Porch at Siena (slated to open in 2016 in the South Hills). I’ll work with these students throughout the semester and it will be their responsibility to report their findings to Eat’n Park senior management.
After my meeting I’ll head back to the office to meet with John Frick, our director of menu development for Eat’n Park Restaurants, to discuss what we need to source locally this year for new items on our Soup, Salad, and Fruit Bar.
Then I’ll catch up on emails and prepare for a speaking engagement I have tomorrow.
Thursday, February 4
Today I’m traveling to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to speak about Eat’n Park’s food sustainability and local sourcing philosophy. I enjoy talking with people about Eat’n Park because many people don’t realize the scope of our business or the standards our suppliers must meet.
I’ll also use this forum as an opportunity to talk about the incredible career opportunities within our company. We are always looking for talented people to join our team.
Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6
I’m driving to State College for the annual Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) conference. I’ve been a member of their board since 2002, and this year, I’m emceeing their event. The theme is Farming in a Changing Climate, and we expect about 2,500 people to attend.
I arrive back in Pittsburgh around 6 p.m. on Saturday and meet Michelle at The Porch at Schenley for their Winter White Pizza and a few pints of beer.
Sunday, February 7
I usually spend my Sundays in the kitchen, preparing food for the entire week. Today, Carter Gerlach, the 12-year-old son of a friend and an aspiring young cook, is joining me. Our first step is looking for recipes in Bon Appetite, Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times. We will select five recipes, develop our grocery list and then head to the grocery store. When we get back to my house, we will prepare each of the dishes and package them for use later in the week. Who knows what Carter will grow up to be but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will revolve around food.