Are you a big fan of eating local and eating fresh? I am. I absolutely love uncovering hidden and not so hidden restaurants that are serving up what their neighborhoods have to offer, whether that’s connecting to local farms or getting their hands dirty and growing the plants, animals and produce themselves.
That’s exactly what I found at a recent visit to Boston for a Social Media meet up. The #140 Conference was holding their first #140 Boston tweetup at the Seaport Hotel in anticipation of the upcoming #140 Conference this fall. While I was at the hotel to meet some of Boston’s social media thought leaders, I also had an opportunity to get acquainted with the Hotel’s marketing manager, Laure Howe Barrett, who mentioned that some of the hotel Chefs were planting a garden at that very moment.
Of course I just had to see this soon to be Chef’s Garden, so I took a moment away from my social media networking and asked to take a quick tour. Sure enough, there in the garden beds of the Hotel’s outdoor courtyard, three of the Seaport’s Chefs were planting edible flowers and herbs that would later be used as garnishes and flavoring for the dishes they served in the hotel restaurant. Awesome. Chef Sara took a few minutes to tell us what she was planting. Helping them plan and plant the seedlings was Teri Volante of Volante Farms in Needham, MA.
This type of collaboration is happening more and more as restaurant patrons prefer to go local. Many restaurants are taking notice and including some aspect of it in their menus to accommodate the locavore movement that is becoming so popular.
In New Hampshire, a number of organizations have even come together to promote the farm-to-restaurant culture; the New Hampshire Farm-to-Restaurant Connection. According to their website, they link New Hampshire farm and food producers with local restaurants. They also have developed a reference guide, and links for additional information.
In Massachusetts, some restaurants are billing themselves as farm-to-table restaurants and finding success. Tabellas in Amherst and the Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington are just a few of the growing list of successful farm-to-table establishments.
The local farm-to-table movement is becoming so mainstream in fact, that the Manchester NH’s Hippo Press published an article this spring with boatloads of links to all sorts of local, organic, sustainable, and back-to-the-land sort of organizations and resources. It’s worth checking out.
With so many local farmers and Chefs willing to collaborate, it makes sense to try a few places this summer while the growing season blesses us with such abundance. If you like your food local and fresh, look around your own neighborhood, you’ll be surprised what great food you can find.
As for me, I may just stop in at the Seaport Hotel next time I’m in Boston to taste some of what they are growing right there at the Hotel.