Chatham University’s Craft Program to Host “Grainstorm”

Updated on October 22, 2022

This Saturday, October 22, Chatham University’s Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) program will host “Grainstorm,” a one-day special event designed to educate bakers, chefs, millers, distillers, and food aficionados all about the history, cultivation, and use of regional grains.

Grainstorm will take place from 12 to 6 P.M. at Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus, located at 6035 Ridge Road, Gibsonia, PA, 15044. The event will include hands-on workshops, roundtable discussions, a happy hour, and networking opportunities with agricultural business leaders and fellow food lovers.

The day’s schedule includes:

Roundtable: Regional Grain Leaders* (12–1:30 P.M.) — Grain advocate and author Amy Halloran (The New Bread Basket) will moderate a discussion about the past, present, and future of grains in the U.S. with regional grain leaders Ben Shorofsky from Common Grain Alliance in the Mid-Atlantic, Keith Williams from Artisan Grain Collaborative in the midwest, and Cassandra Malis from CRAFT.

Workshop: Indian Breads with Local Grains** (12–1:30 P.M.) — Jayashree Iyengar from Popping Mustard Seeds will demonstrate how to make two popular Indian breads, roti and naan, using regional grains. Participants will be able to taste the bread alongside an Indian chutney and raita made by Jay.

Workshop: Ukrainian Pampushky** (2–3:30 P.M.) — Grain advocate and author Amy Halloran (The New Bread Basket) will lead a baking class exploring Ukrainian pampushky (garlic buns), based on the recipe of Ukrainian chef, cookbook author, and activist Olia Hercules. Participants will explore the intersections of baking, activism, and regional grains by learning how to prepare this traditional bread.

Roundtable: Local Bakers Using Regional Grains* (2:30 –3:30 P.M.) — Chatham Food Studies graduate student and CRAFT Food Innovation Lab Coordinator Jade Umberger will lead a discussion of Pittsburgh bakers who frequently use the region’s grains. They’ll discuss recipe development, favorite products, price differences, their best advice for sourcing, and more! Learn how to better incorporate more regional grains into your own business with tips from these experienced bakers. 

* This session is included with Grainstorm registration and will also be live-streamed.

** This session requires an additional registration on the Grainstorm site.

“Grainstorm welcomes regional grain leaders, culinary professionals, and food business innovators to exchange knowledge and grow their understanding of one of America’s most vital food resources,” says Alice Julier, Director of CRAFT. “Understanding the differences among regional grains, and learning how to best use their attributes across various recipes and purposes, is the kind of artisanal knowledge that can provide a valuable advantage for any baker, chef, or agricultural business.”

Grainstorm tickets will be sold on a “pay what you can” basis, with a suggested donation of $20 per ticket. However, all are welcome to join and participate in the event regardless of ability to pay. Revenue from Grainstorm will be used to directly pay student employees at Chatham who engage with the CRAFT program as a practicum space to gain work experience alongside their coursework.

For more about Grainstorm, please visit

ABOUT CRAFT The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation at Chatham University (CRAFT) is working to transform the future of food and agriculture in Western Pennsylvania and beyond by creating a food system that is more equitable, sustainable, and inclusive. The CRAFT team offers support, knowledge coordination, skills development, and visibility for collaborative projects to advance the social and economic health of our region through better food systems, and provides relevant information and data at the regional level that serves as a network for research, education, and outreach on sustainable food. CRAFT is affiliated with Chatham University’s Food Studies program and the Falk School of Sustainability. Chatham has long been at the forefront of sustainable solutions with its ecological innovation on three campuses and a singular focus on living sustainably at the 400-acre Eden Hall campus.

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