Thursday, February 21, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
On Feb 10th, Slow Food New Orleans and marketumbrella.org convened the first Sunday potluck at La Provence to bring a small Focus Group of chefs and farmers together-some of the chefs who had expressed interest in buying from farmers directly and farmers who are mostly not the same faces who come to markets to sell retail to happy shoppers and generous chefs and restaurants, but folks who want to make new customers of building a partnership with one, two,more restaurants who get to sit and pick seeds with those farmers and explain about size and color they would like in 2 months when that crop comes in.
This small group left some paragons of the local food movement out of the room, but that input will be added and more familiar names will become alumni every time; excitement is building all over the place, serious viral marketing going on.
Lunch was brought by farmers and chefs (like the menu item above) and the back doors stayed open to see the livestock that Chef Rene Bajeaux has behind the kitchen, and after lunch, urging among staff to get folks to crowd around 3 tables carefully diversified among the groups to talk about:
Expressly: how can we get more farmers and chefs to feel like they are getting their true, deserved value in each area and to get this big idea in all and then beyond our elegant dining places with our one of a kind professional chef leaders?
Good talk, honest talk and some ideas thrown out, so much that notes and discussion and analysis are still happpening, but what is clear is a hub of some kind must be created, either virtual or real and more intentional work from marketumbrella.org Forager Mischa Byruck, who seems to be the first of his title in the country to tackle the entire entrepreneurial regional food system as his homebase.