Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Do You Really Shop Locally?

I'm not sure why customers ask me this over and over, as if they don't really believe that I shop locally.

Really, I do shop locally and I was into farm-to-table before the phrase ever came into common usage. This recent locavore trend is something that I have been doing forever.

Freshness is paramount for great flavor and so I try to source as much as possible locally. I also like the connection between grower and restaurateur—it’s a symbiotic relationship and we’re both striving for excellence. I also like that if the ingredients are not organic, I know exactly how they have been raised and treated. And, my restaurant is helping to create a market for the products that our local farmers raise. Buying locally is good for all of us.

You can find me shopping at our local Freight Station Farmers Market when it is open, in season Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I also do cooking demos at this and other local markets throughout the year to show customers what they can do with the products that they purchase at the market.

In addition, we grow herbs and edible flowers in our window boxes, planter boxes, and on our deck.

Here's an idea of what we source locally:

Meat—lamb, some Kurobuta pork, hams, bacon, and sausages
Poultry—pastured chickens, organic chicken eggs, quail eggs
Dairy—cheese, some cream
Wine—lots and lots
Foraged items—mushrooms, wild asparagus, pawpaws, ramps
Grains—cornmeal, flour, grits, pasta
Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs
Other—honey, shiitakes, maple syrup, root beer

We receive a lot of phone calls from people who want to sell us local goods. This is the subject of another FAQ.

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