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Feast Down East promotes food economy

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was a delicious day at UNCW for the 4th Annual Feast Down East Regional Conference.

The conference focuses on getting local goods from farm to table.

"We are bringing farmers, buyers and community planners together to help build a local, healthy, strong food economy," Feast Down East Director Jane Steigerwald said.

This year's conference allowed extra time for participants to network. Steigerwald says Feast Down East also helps increase access to healthy local foods by providing support and guidance to farmers.

Smells ad sounds of chefs cooking filled the Burney Center.

"It gives us an opportunity to do what we like to do; not so much the paperwork end of being a chef, but just kind of creating something from scratch," UNCW Executive Chef Ryan Andress said.

With educational workshops and even a cooking competition, participants got some tasty local treats.

"I came to sit on the panel with the farmers and different chefs in the area, then somehow got roped into doing a cooking competition with extremely limited ingredients," Cameron Art Museum Executive Chef Jessica Cabo said.

And even though she did not win Ccabo says she had a good time.

"I mean, it's fun. It's stressful. And after this I have to go back to work," she said.

She says what Feast Down East does is simply inspiring.

"It's absolutely important to eat local, support your local farmers because you get the best, freshest, most wholesome nutritious ingredients around and just support local business," she said.

Organizers say you can look up a list of local farmers and where to buy fresh produce on their website.

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