Progress 2018: Food and drink promotional trails evolve in Cayuga County

On the back of every menu at the Inns of Aurora, printed below a map of the Finger Lakes region, is a message from Executive Chef Patrick Higgins.

“Respect for ingredients, for farmers, and for our shared environment is the foundation for a good meal,” it reads. “That’s why … we make everything from scratch whenever possible, and why we source from local purveyors and responsible harvesters.”

That message was added to the menu in January 2016, along with a list of over a dozen local farms. Meryl Erikson, the director of food and beverage, said it was all part of an effort to highlight the growing farm-to-table trend in the region — a trend that encourages restaurants to buy as much local produce, meat and dairy as possible.

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