Zoe Neuhard is a senior at Silver Creek High School. She is also currently a part of the Silver Creek Leadership Academy which teaches students leadership skills to take to the real world.
Our interview focused on her SCLA career and her SCLA Senior Capstone Project: Food on the Front Range.
K.Fung: What is Food on the Range?
Zoe Neuhard: Food on the Front Range is a farm-to-table picnic that will be in Thompson Park on May 6 from 5-8pm. Tickets will be available starting late February and will include the catered menu from Cured and optional picnic baskets and blankets that can be purchased to add to your picnic experience. At the venue, there will be music from local groups, crafts for kids, and time to bond with other community members while enjoying a delicious meal and (hopefully) pleasant weather.
Fung: What inspired you to take on this project?
Neuhard: Food has always been a passion of mine and I knew going into my Junior SCLA class that I wanted my project to be centered around this theme. My original plan was to do an internship at a local bakery but then my dad showed me a New York Times article about Diner en Blanc. Diner en Blanc started in France and invited people in the community to a secret location in the middle of this city to enjoy food and music together. What made this event unique was that every participant was encouraged to wear all white and the location was only made known a few hours before the diner would begin. This event has spread to many cities around the world and I thought this would be a fun event to bring to the Longmont/Boulder community. However, partly due to procrastination and partly due to wanting to create a whole new event, I eventually decided to incorporate elements from Diner en Blanc and my previous experience in working at the Longmont Farmers Market with the Inglorious Monk Bakery to create a diner that would better reflect the diverse and rapidly expanding local food culture in Colorado. After deciding this was my direction to go, I connected with Elyse Wood from the Boulder County Farmers Market, who is my mentor for this project and was the one to suggest doing a picnic theme instead of a classic dinner, and I am now slowly working towards making this event a reality.
Fung: What is your end goal?
Neuhard: Since food is a vital part of any community, my goal is to have 200-300 participants at my event from not just Longmont but also Lyons and Boulder. Tying in the farm-to-table theme, I also want diners to leave knowing that eating local produce is a viable option for every day meals and will start supporting local farms by buying more produce from the Farmers Market and local food companies.
Fung: What are you going to do after high school?
Neuhard: After I graduate, I plan on attending an out of state college, hopefully UC Davis or the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, to study Food Science and minor in Viticulture (the study of wine making). Depending on what opportunities are available after college, I might get a second degree in Baking and Pastry at a culinary institute or work in product development at a food company. Besides this, I am hopefully going to be doing a lot of travel in Europe and eventually open my own bakery.
Fung: Let’s get personal, tell us something interesting about yourself.
Neuhard: I have a terrible sense of direction and manage to get lost pretty easily when driving in new areas. However, this always turns out to be fun, when it happens on purpose, since my friends and I make it an adventure and drive around looking for cool and interesting places in Boulder and Denver that we do not normally see when going the typical route. I have found some of my favorite bakeries and look out spots by doing this.