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Sustainable Chicago Premiere

A Farm to Fork Event

Spence Farm Foundation & Frontera Farmer Foundation are excited to present the Chicago premiere of the documentary film Sustainable. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring special guests Rick Bayless and Fred Kirschenmann. Join us for an evening of local eats, craft beer and conversation as we investigate the changes happening in Chicago’s food system today.

Trailer for Sustainable:  http://sustainablefoodfilm.com

Food and Drink Provided By:  Frontera, Butcher & Larder, Publican Quality Bread and Cruz Blanca.


6:00 – 6:45  “Cocktail” Reception with Local Craft Beer

7:00 – 8:30  Sustainable Film Screening & Passed Appetizers

8:30 – 9:30  Panel Discussion & Bread Tasting


Rick Bayless, Chef & Owner – Frontera

A highly-acclaimed chef and restaurateur, Rick has been on the forefront of Chicago’s sustainable food movement since opening his first restaurant in 1987. In 2003, he established the Frontera Farmer Foundation to support small midwestern farms.

Fred Kirschenmann, President – Stone Barns Center

For more than four decades, Fred has been a champion of agricultural resilience, an articulate advocate for soil health and a pioneer of organic farming. His work has helped transform what was once obscure and marginal work—resilient, sustainable agriculture focused on the health and restoration of the soil—into an international movement.

Marty & Will Travis, Farmers – Spence Farm

In 1999, the Travis Family bought back the 160-acre farm that their ancestors had settled back in 1830. They now grow a variety of ancient grains, heirloom vegetables and raise heritage breeds of livestock that they sell to Chicago restaurants. In 2005, they founded the farming cooperative, The Stewards of the Land, which is made up of 25 family farms within their community.

Greg Wade, Head Baker – Publican Quality Bread

Milwaukee born and bred, Greg Wade grew up baking with his mother and grandmother, but it wasn’t until he took a baking class at The Illinois Institute of Art’s Culinary Program that he found his calling.  As Publican Quality Meats’ Head Baker, Wade oversees the bread program for all of One Off Hospitality Group, with a focus on whole grains and fermentation.

Rob Levitt, Owner – Butcher & Larder

After years working in the restaurant industry, Rob and his wife Allison opened the first local, sustainable, whole animal butcher shop in Chicago. The Butcher & Larder is an evolution of their years of experience working with farmers and doing what they can to bring responsibly raised local meat to their community.

Erin Meyer, Executive Director – Spence Farm Foundation

Erin connects chefs, healthcare professionals, educators, and farmers in supporting sustainable food systems through experiential education. Through these hands-on educational opportunities they are able to go forward to teach others, to have better methods of purchasing, to pull back from their daily experience to understand the impact of their decisions on the whole system.


A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.

Spence Farm Foundation is changing the way chefs, health professionals, and farmers think about food. Our purpose is to connect cultural influencers to the sources of food through a multi-sensory approach. We help them internalize the social, economic, and environmental impact they can have in cultivating and sustaining a healthy food system.
The Frontera Farmer Foundation was established in 2003. But really, it started long before that. Our relationships with small Midwestern farmers date back to the opening of our first restaurant—decades before anybody had uttered the word “locavore.” When we made our support official by starting the Foundation, our hope was that our ability to support our farmers would grow. And just like a stalk of heirloom corn in the Illinois countryside, it has.