Thank you to everyone who participated in our fantastic Bean Summit! Here are videos, photos, and – of course – recipes from the professional chefs who prepared our delicious lunch! You can find the recipes here.
What Happened at the Bean Summit?
Below is a summary of the Bean Summit, which took us on an adventure from farm to fork. You can also watch the video!
We kicked the day off with a welcome and healthy dose of bean enthusiasm, then moved right into our schedule for the day.
The 2022 Bean Harvest
Jay Ewald of Northern Feed & Bean talked about bean production in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, sharing insights about the challenges farmers faced in the 2022 growing season, the quality of the bean crop, and more.
Bean Summit Grower Panel
Growers from Colorado and Nebraska shared about why they grow beans and sustainability benefits of beans, and they will answer audience questions. This was a rare opportunity to actually meet and talk to several growers! The panel was facilitated by Courtney Schuler and consisted of:
- Troy Seaworth: a third-generation farmer in Northern Colorado and the President of Seaworth Ag Enterprises and Wildcat Farms
- Joe Newton: JT Farms, in in Eastern Colorado
- Dan Hinman: farmer in the Panhandle of Nebraska
Sally Ayotte, RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist), of Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center shared about the many health benefits of beans and why she thinks they are the perfect food.
Local Bean Company Spotlight
Bean Summit Lunch
Lunch was prepared by professional chefs, and you voted on the winners! We are grateful to the Hispanic Restaurant Association for helping us coordinate the Bean Summit. On the menu were pinto and Mayocoba beans from Barber’s Farms and Northern Feed & Bean, light red kidney beans from Jack’s Beans, and great northern beans from Trinidad Behnam Corporation. You can find the recipes here. It was amazing to see what these chefs can do with beans, and the audience voted to determine the winners. The five chefs who served up an absolutely delicious bean feast are:
- Chef Rudy Elsener of Cracovia Polish Restaurant and Rudy’s Catering
- Chef Luis Gurrola of Necio Mexican Kitchen
- Chef Salem Mares of Nomad Taqueria + Beer Garden – won ‘most likely to order in a restaurant’!
- Chef Nora Rameriz of Nomad Taqueria + Beer Garden – won ‘most likely to cook at home’!
- Chef Zuri Resendiz of Luchador Food Truck – won ‘favorite pinto dish‘!
Bean Summit Chef Panel
We heard from two chefs about why they love to use beans, the benefits of including them on the menu, and more!
Organizations Using Local Beans Panel
Even though beans are so important to local food systems here in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, many institutions struggle to use local, dry beans. Our panel explained why it matters to them to support local bean growers and processors, what they do to make this possible, and more. Chelsea Didinger facilitated the panel, and the panelists were:
- Miriam Holleb: an AmeriCorps service member serving for a second year with the Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project
- Hannah Moore: the Non-Perishable Food Sourcing Lead at Food Bank of the Rockies
- Kathryn Ardoin: the Director of Operations for East Denver Food Hub
Trivia and Wrap-Up
We wrapped up the day with some fun trivia with local beans and bean swag for prizes!
Bean Summit Recipes
Click on the links to get the PDFs of the recipes from the chefs! These are the unedited version, directly from these talented professionals. Thank you to the audience for voting for the winners of the three different categories: favorite pinto bean dish, most likely to order at a restaurant, and most likely to cook at home.
- Chef Rudy Elsener of Rudy’s Catering at the Arvada Elks made Pinto Bean Patties, Best-Ever Succotash, Bunder Gerstensuppe (red bean, barley, and beef soup), and Spicy Hummus Spread.
- Chef Luis Gurrola of Necio Mexican Kitchen made 4 tasty recipes: Chorizo Pinto Bean Dip, Frijoles Charros (Cowboy Beans), Black Bean Roasted Garlic Sauce, and Light Red Kidney Bean Hummus. Find all four recipes combined into this PDF.
- Chef Salem Mares of Nomad Taqueria + Beer Garden won ‘most likely to order in a restaurant’! She is a wizard with desserts and made a delicious Black Bean & Sweet Cream Mousse.
- Chef Nora Rameriz of Nomad Taqueria + Beer Garden won ‘most likely to cook at home’! She cooked up three delicious chili recipes: White Chicken Chili with Mayocoba beans, Red Chili, and Vegetarian Red Chili.
- Chef Zuri Resendiz of Luchador Food Truck won ‘favorite pinto dish‘ with these incredible Pinto Bean Chilaquiles!
Once Again, Thank You to Our Sponsors!
The Bean Summit was a free event, thanks to the generous sponsorship of growers, dealers/processors, and bean organizations!
We are honored to partner with the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission to share about bean production in our states. You will hear from both Colorado and Nebraska bean growers during our Grower Panel.
We are excited to partner with the Wyoming Bean Commission to share the full story of beans in our region.
The Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association will be in attendance to support bean growers and dealers/processors in our Rocky Mountain region.
Northern Feed & Bean has been serving bean growers and communities for over 70 years and specializes in Colorado Proud pinto beans, Mayocoba beans, black beans, small red beans, and orca beans.
Trinidad Benham Corporation is a large private label packager of dry beans based in Denver, Colorado. They specialize in a wide variety of beans, such as pinto, light red kidney, black, and garbanzo beans. Trinidad Benham also offers labor-saving bean products for foodservice that include kettle-ready, pre-washed beans.
Barber’s Farms offers various types of Colorado Proud beans, including pinto and Mayocoba.
Bean Summit News Coverage
Bean Summit Photos
Photos are provided by Mario Martinez of Foodies Media Solutions.