Believing wholeheartedly that regardless of what we choose to eat, nothing is more important than starting with ingredients that are of the best possible quality and are at their peak of seasonal ripeness, knowing our final results will never be better than what we started with. A hidden advantage of using quality ingredients is that they allow us to cook simply and eat well. Because our efforts in the kitchen are hard won, hopefully the meals that we make will substantiate our lives by tasting good and by infusing us with the feeling of connection to those who grow and produce the food and to those whom we share it with.
For my family and I, the best meals are the ones in which we know where everything was grown and who grew it. A meal should make sense geographically as well as indigenously. In our large urban country this may seem like an absurd value, but that’s only because we’re out of the habit of being connected with our food and its source. It is possible to regain that sense of connection, and knowing where our food comes from enriches our lives immeasurably by linking us to the place where we live and to those with whom we share a landscape, a culture, and a history. Agriculture is big business, but there are still many family farmers working small farms who market their products directly to us through farmers’ markets and CSA programs.
The seasonal food our local farmers bring to our tables is always the most vital and delectable because of its sheer proximity to market and the high quality sustainable farming techniques generally used. It is a true joy to cook with, and that is why I always seek out local farmers’ markets and all other direct sources. Although done in a $50,000 Land Rover, my family still forages for the majority of our food. We scour the countryside for grass-fed local beef, raw jersey milk, farmstead cheese, organic vegetables, raw honey & bee pollen, pastured heirloom pork, grass-fed lamb, pastured eggs and chickens. Having grown up on a New England farm I took all of these products for granted and watched the rapid change and steady decline in the American households meal plan due to preservative laden pre-packaged convenience foods (tv dinners)…………
Vowing to keep my family drug-free (antibiotics, steroids, nitrates, nitrites & pesticides) and educated about their food ways and traditions, we will source locally what we do not produce ourselves.
The seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and other foods I find locally and at the farmers’ market, along with the conviviality of seeing my local farmer twice a week, have been the truest source of inspiration in my kitchen and cuisine. As a Chef I believe that we have a vital responsibility to be part of an overall solution. Reuniting the local beekeeper, artisan cheese maker, herdsmen, cattle rancher, lobsterman, fisherman and organic farmer to the dining public is a mandatory necessity that must not be overlooked.