'local' on Serious Eats

Market Tour: Meet Ploughboy, Colorado's All-Local Market

It was day five of their cross-country road trip when Kerry and David Nelson rolled into Salida, Colorado. They'd just taken a year off from their life in Philly to travel the country, and finding a place in the Southwest where they could eventually lay down roots wasn't far from their minds. It turned out to be an easier process than they could've imagined—for the Nelsons, Salida had it all: a thriving, receptive community, an active arts scene, and a stunning mountain vista. More

8 Great Places to Buy Sausage in Chicago (And Nearby)

As we've tried to make clear, Chicago is a city proud of its sausage making history, and every week our charcuterie expert, Blake Royer, has explored the encased meats scene with Sausage City. Many of the posts have focused on the great offerings at restaurants, but since Memorial Day basically kicks off the grilling season, we decided to showcase the offering you can buy and take home. More

Sausage City: Local in New Buffalo, MI

Perhaps no two people represent this burgeoning New Buffalo community better than Pat and Ellie Mullins, the married proprietors of Local on the north edge of New Buffalo, Michigan. Outside of their shop, along the Red Arrow Highway, a red sign reads "bacon." I liked them immediately. More

Video: Mushroom Farmers in the Ozarks Discuss the Drawbacks of 'Local'

When I stumbled upon Curly and Carole Anne, two banjo-playing mushroom farmers, I immediately fell in love. They run an all-organic farm way out in the Ozarks. Driving there took us down all types of dirt roads, over several streams and to a land where GPS and cell phones cease to exist. What followed was three days of shiitake talking, cooking and eating. What really struck me was their discussion of what "local" means and how that can affect sustainable family farms. Watch the video to hear more. More

The Vegetarian Option: Bell Book & Candle

[Photographs: Laura Togut] Bell Book & Candle 141 West 10th Street (between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Pl; map); 212-414-2355; bbandcnyc.com Cuisine: American Veggie Options: 4 bites/sides, 2 soups, 3 salads, 1 entrée Cost: Bites/sides $5-10, soup/salad $6-12, entrée $17... More

Video: How to Cook and Eat an Entire Duck

Cooking duck is a great gateway experience to the full-on nose-to-tail eating. All of the parts are delicious and easy to prepare, it just takes a little time. Watch this video to see ducks turned into sausage, pate, rillette, stock, prosciutto, and confit. More

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Know Your Local Booze

With more people adopting the locavore lifestyle, it was only a matter of time before people would start drinking locally too. As Toby Cecchini writes in today's New York Times, the goal to eat-local (or more accurately, drink-local) is becoming increasingly easy to reach in the Northeast, as the number of small-scale distillers booms. But only in recent years has small-scale distilling become even a possibility in most states. More

Cheap Local, Sustainable, and Organic Food: Is It Out There?

This past week the New York Times had an interesting interview with a local Ohio grocer who offered his tips on buying high-quality food on the cheap. His tips tended toward the obvious, the silly, and the self-serving: Buying prewashed and premade food because we'll waste less doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. But in these days of shrinking buying power, rapidly rising food prices, and economic insecurity, which we've all felt in one way or another, it does make sense for all of us to think about saving money while eating right and doing right. I write this knowing full well that absolute costs of food are pretty difficult to figure out, but we've... More

Bay Area to Alan Richman: WTF?

Alan Richman's latest GQ column on San Francisco's Ferry Building, "the West Coast's new temple of tastes" is a riveting read until you hit this sentence: "Alice Waters and sourdough bread aside, the Bay Area has contributed surprisingly little to the culinary ripening of America considering its proximity to fertile growing regions from the Central Valley to Napa and Sonoma counties." and then all you can do is shake your head, furrow your brow, and start wondering if he's begun smoking crack. The SF Chronicle's Michael Bauer naturally took exception and wrote about it on his blog, saying, "I simply don't know where to begin. Has he heard of wine? Artisan cheeses? Arugula?" and promises to post a list of... More

Austin Food Writers Go Locavore for a Week

Ed Crowell, Kitty Crider, Dale Rice, and Renee Studebaker of the Austin American-Statesman all spent an entire week in April as locavores, trying their best to eat only food that was grown and manufactured within a 200-mile radius of Austin. Crider points out that "while Texas is a large agricultural state, Travis County is not," and so while there were many things they chose to do without (bananas, tortilla chips), there are also foods they expanded their definitions to include (oranges from the Rio Grande Valley, seafood from the Gulf), and others they rationalized into keeping like coffee, tea and spices saying, "after all, this country's pioneers traded afar for those things, too." All four writers kept detailed diaries... More

Cooking for the Kentucky Derby and the Queen

It's not every chef who can say they've cooked for royalty, but after this Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Gil Logan will be able to say exactly that because Queen Elizabeth II will be visiting Churchill Downs and choosing from the menu he's put together: "When it was decided that they'd be visiting the Derby and eating here, the queen's staff Googled me," Logan said. "The royal family prefers to eat organic, natural foods, and they travel with their own food service staff."But when they saw that I buy as much as I can from local farmers who are growing and raising food without pesticides or hormones or antibiotics, they were quite happy to eat from our regular menu." Logan actually... More

Eat Local, for Your Microwave?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Hsiao-Ching Chou talks to Greg Conner, the founder of Eat Local, an area company dedicated to providing frozen microwavable meals made with organic, sustainably-raised seasonal produce and meats that all come from within a few hundred mile radius of the city, cooked in small batches every day for maximum freshness. "The cost runs from about $7 for a single portion to $55 for an eight-person entree. "We're not the cheapest," Conner acknowledges. "But we know the provenance of the food. You pay for the safety in your food and you're having less impact on the environment." [via The Food Section]... More

Green Restaurants, In Practice

Meg Wilcox of the Boston Globe, on what makes a green restaurant green: "To qualify for green certification, a restaurant must recycle waste, be styrofoam-free, complete four environmental steps, and commit to four additional steps each year, says Michael Oshman, founder and director of the nonprofit Green Restaurant Association. "The key is completing additional steps each year," he says, "which could include energy or water conservation measures, elimination of toxic cleaners, sustainable food choices, using clean power, and others." More than 300 restaurants nationally have been certified -- bakeries, pizzerias, and luxurious dining rooms." Eight Boston restaurants are certified, most are upscale and no, they don't have to be vegan or even vegetarian to qualify, just committed to the cause;... More

Time Magazine: Eating Local Is Better Than Organic

Time Magazine's current cover story is Eating Better Than Organic by John Cloud, in which he explores the debate between buying local and buying organic. Which is better for the food system, food grown by a small farmer locally or one grown by a big organic firm that uses large-scale industrial methods? Is buying local food that might have been treated with pesticides better for the environment than organic food that's been trucked, shipped and flown from far away, using up tons of fossil fuels? Which tastes better? Cloud asked Whole Foods CEO John Mackey for his opinion: He told me that when he can't get locally grown organics--and even he can't reliably get them--he decides on the basis... More

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