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Central Wyoming College will present a special farm-to-table “Lander Roots: Your Table for Local Food and Story” dinner on Saturday, September 9, from 4 p.m. until sunset at the Alpine Science Institute in Lander.

The farm-to-table dinner features Chef Colin Hemens and bar services by the Blushing Burrow. There will be live music from local musicians String Theory. After dinner, there will be storytelling with Houlihan Narratives. The event includes guided tours of the farm and heirloom orchard with Central Wyoming College’s farm students along with Douglas Nelson, farm manager; and Ethan Page, faculty of Local Food and Agriculture.

Chef Colin Hemens, former executive chef at Jackson’s Snake River Grill, began cooking farm-to-table foods in Portland in the early 2000s. His 23 years working in restaurants from San Francisco to Denver to Glacier National Park provided him with diverse culinary experiences.

No matter the style of cuisine, for Hemens it is most important to cook with quality ingredients and know where they are grown and raised. He favors local foods because they are fresher, without the social and environmental impact of global shipping. Cooking with locally grown foods inspires Hemens to further his culinary creativity. CWC’s farm’s summer vegetables, as well as meats and local foods from other Lander farmers and ranchers, will shine in his menu.

“I’m happy to be part of this special evening as I want to support local food and connect the community with their farmers and ranchers,” said Hemens. 

Central Wyoming College Instructor of Agriculture and Meat Science Amanda Winchester, Meat Manager Richard Anderson and Meat Sciences students will process the lamb meat served at the farm-to-table dinner. The Churro-Navajo lamb was raised by Karen Mott and Nan Slingerland of Spear S Ranch in Red Canyon.

“The Navajo-Churro is the oldest sheep in the Americas and known for its special flavor which is so mild and lovely,” said Nan Slingerland. Chef Hemens practices the art of whole animal cooking, and will utilize all the Spear S lamb harvested for the farm-to-table dinner.

CWC Instructor and Program Director of Culinary Arts & Hotel and Restaurant Management Amy Madera, Chef Rachel Lapresta and Central Wyoming College Culinary students will work with Chef Hemens as his sous chefs. The special farm-to-table dinner will be served in the heirloom orchard from Central Wyoming College’s new mobile kitchen. 

The farm-to-table experience includes a first course salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, herbed-cultured buttered bread, and Mediterranean offerings with eggplant, squash, and peppers. While all of the dinner food will be Wyoming grown, even more special is that most of it will be sourced from the Lander Valley from lamb and beef ranchers, cow and goat dairy farmers, poultry keepers, beekeepers, and vegetable growers.  

The Lander Roots farm-to-table dinner is a fundraiser for Central Wyoming College’s Beginning Farmer Training Program. Guests will learn about the people who grow Lander’s food, and leave firmly rooted.

Central Wyoming College’s Alpine Science Institute is located at 50 Field Station Road in Lander. Tickets are available at