Rob Levitt has been one of Chicago’s leading butchers for several years, and his store, The Butcher & Larder, has gained an even higher profile since moving from its tiny original shop to the Local Foods retail store that opened last June. Customer service and information is part of the store’s stock in trade — so it was not surprising when the news broke Thursday that fans voted The Butcher & Larder as Best Butcher Shop in Chicago in an online poll.
“Minimizing food waste is the next round of work that we have to do, both in the farm to table movement and in our food culture generally,” says Abra Berens, chef of Stock Cafe at the innovative Local Foods market in Chicago. Read about her devotion to locally and sustainably sourced food, and to not letting any of it go to waste, in the latest installment of our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
It might sound somewhat surprising that Rick Bayless, a pioneering advocate for the Chicago region’s local farmers and a master of regional Mexican cuisine, recently converted to using imported corn for his tortillas.
But this isn’t just any corn. It is dried heirloom corn from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where some historians believe the cultivation of maize began. And it underscores the fact that in a diverse and increasingly interconnected food culture, authentic farm to table restaurants may take their search for the best ingredients way beyond their local areas…. and sometimes to a different part of the world.
The Mayan Café presents traditional cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that since 2007 has delighted diners (and reviewers) in the restaurant row in Louisville’s East Market District, a.k.a. NuLu. And they have done so in part by going all in on sourcing ingredients as locally as possible, a decision that made them a farm-to-table front-runner in Kentucky’s most populous city. Good Food on Every Table is pleased to present a q-and-a with Shadle and Ucan as our first out-of-Chicago article in our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Sourcing locally is a commitment that is both rewarding and frustrating for a chef. But metro Chicago’s White Oak Gourmet
is committed, even if it means chasing chickens (okay, chicken delivery trucks) around the city. Read Chef Tom Leavitt’s reflections on building relationships with farmers in this contributed column.
The Kitchen was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2004 and features delicious food with a strong focus on local and sustainable sourcing at its restaurants. And The Kitchen goes beyond the core Good Food principles with its strong social mission, embodied in its school learning gardens program. Johnny Anderes, head chef of the The Kitchen location in Chicago, discussed the restaurant’s Good Food practices.
Paul Kahan, a winner of a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef of the Year award, has built his career around his dedication to sourcing sustainably produced ingredients, as locally as possible, for his restaurants’ kitchens. Family Farmed and Good Food on Every Table are pleased to present this profile and q-and-a with Kahan to kick off our new “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
The Good Food movement has made tremendous strides during recent years, but this progress is fresh and fragile. Among the biggest challenges is ensuring consumers that the Good Food claims made by people in the industry are legit. So FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table is launching the new chef-driven series, “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real.”
The James Beard Foundation held its annual awards ceremony in Chicago Monday night. All the winners, of course, serve delicious food to diners. But if there was another quality that linked several of the biggest awardees, it can be summed up in one word: perseverance.
Last year, FamilyFarmed welcomed the first-ever James Beard culinary awards to Chicago with an article providing the sweep of Good Food activities in our hometown. So with the JBF Awards coming back to town on May 2, the best second helping we could think of is this rundown of the biggest Good Food developments in Chicagoland over the past year.
FamilyFarmed is pleased to have Read It & Eat, Chicago’s culinary bookstore and teaching kitchen, as its bookseller at the annual Good Food Festival this Saturday in Chicago. To get us ready for the Good Food Festival’s literary side, Esther Dairiam, owner of Read It & Eat has contributed a pair of articles about the best cookbooks of 2015, following the “Piglet Award” contest staged by the Food52 website.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival is this Saturday at the UIC Forum on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago. With exciting activities for adults and children too, it is hard to boil down the list of things to do. But we think this Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Festival list will be a useful guide.
Chicago chef Paul Kahan has long been known for the culinary excellence of the successful and high-profile restaurants in the One Off Hospitality Group, currently at eight locations and growing. His kitchen mastery earned him the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Outstanding Chef Award in 2013. He was inducted into JBF’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage Read more about Chicago’s Paul Kahan, FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Chef of the Year: His Culinary Career[…]
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival — its big public celebration of the Good Food movement — is coming up on Saturday, March 26 at Chicago’s UIC Forum. One of its many features is an authors’ table featuring great books about food, and we are pleased that Read It & Eat, Chicago’s culinary bookstore and event space, Read more about The Best Cookbooks of 2016? Ask Read It & Eat, Our Good Food Festival Bookseller[…]
FamilyFarmed’s Trade Show & Industry Conference on March 25 — the middle day of its three-day Good Food Festival & Conference — has an exciting new feature: “Recipe for Change: How the Culinary Community is Creating a Sustainable Food System” is a panel moderated by James Beard Foundation Vice President Kris Moon and featuring four of Chicago’s top chefs and Good Food champions. In this contributed column, Moon details the rising tide of chef activism and how the James Beard Foundation has responded with its Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change.
Chicago’s culinary community recently celebrated its top honors at the annual Jean Banchet Awards. The winners underscored he ever-increasing prominence of a Good Food ethos in the city’s restaurant community.
FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference is the oldest and largest event in the Midwest focused on local and sustainable food. At its heart are the producers, buyers, sellers and others who exhibit their businesses there. Josh Katt, chef/owner of a company that prepares and delivers delicious food from sustainably produced ingredients to homes and catered events in the Chicago area, shares his experiences as an exhibitor.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” says the longtime motto of the U.S. Postal Service. If Thursday evening’s annual Chef BBQ staged by Chicago’s Green City Market is an indication, that applies as well to connoisseurs — at least as when it comes to rain.
by Paul Sippil, Guest Contributor Paul Sippil is the founder of the new, Chicago-based Farm-to-Table Community Dining and Wellness Group, which seeks to bring communities together and stimulate discussion of healthier eating through Good Food on social media and at special dinners featuring farm-to-table ingredients. The latest of these dinners, scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Read more about First Person: Seeking Better Health and Bigger Community Through Good Food[…]
[The original version of this article was published May 1 on the Huffington Post website.] As FamilyFarmed prepared for the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on May 4, we decided to welcome out-of-town attendees with an article providing “10 delicious facts” about the blossoming Good Food scene in our hometown. We found we had created a pretty sweeping guide to Chicagoland Good Food, so we’re making it a standing feature. And we’d love to hear about the Good Food scene where you live — let civic pride rule!