ST. JOHNSBURY -- Two St. Johnsbury Academy seniors are planning a Nov. 11 dinner celebrating Vermont food and farms.

Held at the student-run Hilltopper Restaurant on Main Street, and open to the public, the event is part of a senior Capstone research project undertaken by Kaolin Tetreault of Newark and Brittany Berwick from Peacham, who are seeking Vermont Fresh Network membership for the restaurant to help highlight its support for local farmers and other food producers.

A Vermont Fresh Network approved restaurant must source at least three local food providers/producers; the Hilltopper currently uses Black River Produce, Burlington Food Service, and Boyden Farm beef, all based in Vermont, and will continue to source other in-state providers, as well.

"My interest in local foods came from home, really -- we buy local milk and our chickens produce our eggs, and we have a vegetable garden and shop often at local farmers' markets," said Berwick, who plans to attend a culinary school after graduation and focus on baking and pastry-making.

Featured main course items include Rainbow Red Ale braised short ribs, grilled breast of chicken, and three cheese cannelloni, accompanied by Vermont-grown vegetables. Dessert offerings include Mascarpone cheese cake, apple sauce cake with maple ice cream and cinnamon whipped cream, and pumpkin parfait.

Seatings are at 5:30, 6, 7 and 7:30 p.m., and reservations, required by Thursday, Nov. 10, can be made by calling the Hilltopper Restaurant at (802) 748-8964. The cost is $30 per person and all profits will be donated to the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund.

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