Frontera 30
Frontera 30

Matthias Merges and Good Food, From Trotter’s to Solo Stardom: A Frontera 30 Story

Matthias Merges is one of the most important figures in the rise of Chicago to its status as a world-class culinary capital. after a 14-year stint at Charlie Trotter’s — the last 12 of those at the world-renowned restaurant’s chef de cuisine — Matthias went out his own in 2010, and soon after opened Yusho, focused on Japanese street food, and it quickly became the flagship of his extensive Folkart restaurant group. Matthias will be a participating chef at the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser on April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago

Windy City Harvest: Growing Good Food and Good Food Jobs

Windy City Harvest operates four training programs on 13 farm sites that, according to Director of Operations Kelly Larsen, “all aim to create a pathway of opportunity within local food” for urban farmers, including youths from economically challenging circumstances. Larsen will share her experiences and expertise in growing Good Food and Good Food jobs in urban communities tomorrow (Thursday, March 16) as a panelist at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference at Chicago’s UIC Forum.

Chillinois Young Farmers Coalition

Big Chillinois: Young Farmers Coalition Cultivates New Generation In Chicagoland

With the average age of farmers in the United States pushing 60, growing a new generation of young farmers is a regional and national priority. One of the most encouraging recent developments in the Chicago area is the creation of Chillinois Young Farmers — the northern Illinois chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition — which is providing a much-needed voice to this important constituency. FamilyFarmed is pleased that “Chillinois,” representing the national organization, will be participating in our Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18 at Chicago’s UIC Forum.

Urban Ag Bus Tour

Cycling Up Urban Ag and Home Growing With Fleet Farming

Urban agriculture is on the rise. So is the interest of many homeowners in growing their own food. Now Fleet Farming, a startup company with national intentions, wants to accelerate both trends — and it involves bicycles.

Urban Farm to Table is Grower Jen Rosenthal’s Tomato Jam

Urban agriculture in on the rise, in many cases providing jobs, opportunities and access to Good Food for residents of underserved communities. But the farm Jen Rosenthal manages on Chicago’s South Side has particular social significance: It is on a site once occupied by apartment towers of The Robert Taylor Homes, which had grown so troubled-plagued that its residents were relocated and the buildings torn down.

Chicago’s Darius Jones, Farm Aid Hero: The Life-Changing Power of Urban Farming

Farm Aid publishes a series of profiles on its website of “Farmer Heroes.” Their most recent profile is of Darius Jones, a young Chicagoan and friend of FamilyFarmed, for whom the “hero” title is apt. A troubled youth that resulted in him being incarcerated also set him on the path to the cutting edge of urban agriculture in his hometown.

Grown in Detroit stand at Eastern Market
Academy for Global Citizenship Artist's Depiction

First Person: No, Really, #ThanksMichelleObama

Teens around the country have caused a buzz by tweeting photographs of unappetizing school lunches along with a sarcastic message: #ThanksMichelleObama. That hashtag attempts to put a negative spin on the very positive work Mrs. Obama has made her personal cause as first lady of the United States: to improve child nutrition, health, and fitness.

Justin Vrany of Chicago's Sandwich Me In

Chicago’s Sandwich Me In: Good Food with a Side of Sustainability

Justin Vrany’s Sandwich Me In — which serves local and sustainably produced food and has a zero-waste principle — is so busy that he is in the process of hiring a sous chef to help him with the load.

Elevating Good Food with Rooftop Farmer Jen Rosenthal

Jen Rosenthal’s first full year as the rooftop farmer at Uncommon Ground restaurant can be fairly described as a big success. By the time the roughly half-year growing season ends in a few weeks, Rosenthal and her team of mainly interns and volunteers will have harvested nearly a ton of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, greens, beans, herbs, and other produce, most of which is used in the restaurant downstairs.