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Pittsburgh Chefs Set Table for Leaders of the World

Pittsburgh Chefs Set Table for Leaders of the World

Bob Karlovits | The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Delegates of the G-20 economic summit will be learning that eating green in Pittsburgh means more than munching lettuce and peas.

“We try to encourage all of our guests to eat locally produced or organic foods,” says Richard V. Piacentini, executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, which is hosting an opening reception and dinner for the event on Thursday. “We try to let people know on the menu what their options are.”

His thoughts reflect those of others involved in preparing the food for the gathering of finance ministers and central-bank governors from leading economic nations. It is more than a matter of whipping up enough roast beef to feed delegates, their staff and media representatives.

One of the more important elements for Dominique C. Metcalfe will be offering items grown on local farms and in the rooftop garden of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

That means dinner ingredients are not only locally produced, but produced on site, meaning it will be about as “fresh as it can be.”

“We want to give the best the best,” says Metcalfe, executive chef of the convention center site of the Chicago-based Levy Restaurants.

Robert D. Page, general manager of the Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown, and his executive chef, Jacky Francois, are approaching their menu in the same way.

Francois says it is the hotel’s practice to “make meals as local as they can be.” But there is another goal.

“We want to show that American food is more than a hot dog or a hamburger,” he says.