Tag Archives: Newport RI Restaurants

SVF Foundation and The White Horse Tavern

Join us on
Wednesday, July 31st 2013
To Dine & Learn
SVF Foundation’s Mission to Preserve Heritage Breeds.

SVF Executive Director, Peter Borden, will describe the Foundation’s mission, goals and the scientific work that is preserving endangered livestock breeds for centuries to come.
White Horse Executive Chef, Richard Silvia, has prepared a 6-course menu featuring SVF Foundation meats, fresh ingredients from local farms and select wines to complement each course.

Amuse Bouche
Warm Rosemary Scones with Creamy Bone Marrow Butter

Salad Course
Crispy Beef Liver, Balsamic Honey Onion Jam, Grain Mustard,
and crisp wild arugula

Cheese Course
SVF Honeycomb, Micro Herbs, and Fruit Relish

Pasta Course
Braised Beef Shank Ragu, Handmade Gnocchi, Herbs, Cloumage

Entrée Course
Grilled Beef Chuck, Chimmichurri, Olive Oil Roasted Summer Vegetables, Polenta Fries

Dessert Course
Sweet Berry Farm Berry Shortcake with Rhody Clotted Cream

Education Lecture Starts Promptly at 6:30 pm
Dinner at 7:30 pm

$100.00 per person with wine pairings

Limited availability. Please call 401-849-3600
to reserve your place for this special event.

The White Horse Tavern Visits The SVF Foundation

Ancient White Park Cattle at the SVF Foundation, Newport RI

Ancient White Park Cattle at the SVF Foundation, Newport RI

The White Horse Tavern Executive Chef, Richard Silvia and proprietor, Leslie Hogan took an afternoon this week to visit SVF Foundation, a local non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving heritage livestock breeds from extinction.

As I have explained in my recent blog posts, sustainability is extremely important to me as a chef and our vision here at the White Horse Tavern. During our visit to the SVF, Leslie and I learned about SVF’s history and mission from Executive Director, Peter Borden.

The Alarming Loss of Heritage Breeds

U.N. Food and Agriculture studies indicate the world is losing one livestock breed a month. SVF preserves heritage breeds to maintain their valuable and irreplaceable traits such as resistance to disease and parasites, heat tolerance, mothering ability, forage utilization and unique flavor and texture qualities.  The lack of diversity in our food chain makes our highly inbred, genetically uniform market breeds extremely vulnerable. One serious infectious disease could decimate an entire breed.

Rhode Island’s Vanishing Livestock Breeds

The lack of diversity in our food chain ought to be a real concern to us even on a local level. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, Rhode Island was home to 6,000 dairy farms; now there are 17.  In the 1920s, 60 breeds of chickens were sold in the US; now the Cornish Rock dominates the market. In the 1930s, 15 breeds of pigs were raised the US; six of those are now extinct and just three breeds dominate the market. Just one breed of cow, the Holstein, supplies 93% of our dairy products.

An Idyllic Setting for Endangered Breeds


 At SVF Foundation we toured gorgeous livestock pens, a state-of-the-art cryogenic lab where genetic material is frozen in liquid nitrogen tanks, Foundation offices and the famous and picturesque Swiss Village. We also met an impressive group of livestock professionals, scientists, landscapers and other farm folk dedicated to preserving this beautiful place and the animals that can insure a diverse food source for our future.

The animals were all in environments that were comfortable, humane, and impeccably well maintained. The breeds we saw included Ancient White Park and Dutch Belted Cattle, Tennessee Fainting Goats, Leicester Longwool Sheep, piglets, Cornish Rock Hens, and a handsome Border Collie named “Dakota.”

SVF_CHIP&CHEFWe also met a very special fainting goat named Chip.  Chip was conceived in an SVF test tube and carried to term by a surrogate mother of the same species but a different breed. SVF has produced about a dozen of these “miracle babies” to make sure the frozen embryos, semen and germplasm they store are viable and ready to fulfill their mission of putting a little diversity on all our plates.

More to come regarding our visit, partnership and future lecture dinners with the SVF Foundation

Chef Richard Silvia

P.S. SVF will be open to the public on June 8th with tours, demonstrations and SVF heritage breed  meats prepared by Julian’s Food Truck. Read more here.