We at FamilyFarmed conduct most of our work to build a better food system from our base in the city of Chicago. So we relish the opportunities to get into the country and visit the farmers who are the heart and soul of the Good Food movement — such as our trip Monday (July 24) to two of our woman-farmer friends in Pecatonica, a farm town 100 miles to the west with a whole lot of progressive thinking about Good Food growing.
Most quinoa is used in savory dishes or as a side dish. But I Heart Keenwah, a Chicago-based producer that will again be exhibiting at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference March 16-18, is making its mark with a line of quinoa-based snack foods and sweet treats (their current line of products is listed at the end of this article).
Farmhouse Chicago, located at the west end of downtown, is a genuine farm to table restaurant that sources most of its ingredients from the states that border on Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Since its opening five yeas ago, Farmhouse Chicago also has been a friend of Family Farmed. So it is no coincidence that an event scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 3 — at which Farmhouse will introduce its five new proprietary hard apple ciders — is also a fundraiser for our nonprofit, which will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the tickets sold.
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.
There was plenty of food to eat at FamilyFarmed’s March 26 Good Food Festival, which drew thousands of attendees for the annual big public celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement. But the program at the Festival, which included expert panels, artisan workshops and chef demonstrations, also provided plenty of food for thought. This photo essay provides a flavor of the event.
Rick Bayless’ mastery of regional Mexican cuisine has made him one of the nation’s most celebrated chefs. He also is a Good Food advocate who is greatly concerned with the welfare of family farmers and the integrity of the food we eat. He thus is distressed by a court ruling that overturned Mexico’s two-year-old ban on genetically modified (GMO) corn.
Paul Fehribach of Big Jones restaurant in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood will receive FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Chef of the Year award during the Good Food Festival, Saturday, March 21 at Chicago’s UIC Forum. He earned the award because of his culinary skills — steeped in the traditions of Southern cooking — and also because of the strong values that prompt him to seek out locally and sustainably produced ingredients, including many rare or heirloom varieties.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Bread, especially bread made with wheat flour, has come under scrutiny in recent years. Some nutritional experts and consumers have turned against it, viewing it as the root of a variety of health issues, from gluten sensitivity to weight gain. These sentiments spawned a rapid rise in interest in gluten-free bread Read more about Chicago Baker Greg Wade: Making Interest in Good Bread Rise Naturally[…]
Paul Fehribach has always been generous about sharing his recipes at his Southern-themed Big Jones restaurant in Chicago. Now he has compiled his tips into The Big Jones Cookbook, coming out this spring.
The National Restaurant Association’s annual predictions of top culinary trends are out — and it looks like 2015 will be another great year for the fast-growing Good Food movement.
The rising interest in heirloom (or heritage) varieties of food — and the important role that popcorn producers such as Iowa’s Tiny But Mighty have played in that trend — has caught the eye of The New York Times.
Lee Greene of Chicago’s Scrumptious Pantry is among the food artisans across the nation who are using and drawing attention to heirloom ingredients that — to the detriment of diners — had largely faded from public consciousness.