Our town, our food

I recently attended the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in Chicago, along with 1,399 other people from 18 countries and 48 states. There was much discussion about the value of celebrating, supporting, sourcing and, of course, eating sustainably produced and locally raised foods. It’s a nationwide movement, and Northeast Ohio is very much a part of it. The more I learned, the more I realized what a progressive culinary community we have here: flourishing, producers-only farmers’ markets; restaurants featuring local, artisanal and organic foods; an active Slow Food convivium; and organizations working to create a regional food system that benefits residents and the local economy.

Our goal at Feast! is to spotlight these efforts, keep you informed and help you get involved. In this issue, we tell you about the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy’s Eat Local Pledge, an urban goat-cheese maker and where to find organic herb plants for your garden, plus provide fabulous recipes for all the great stuff you bring home from the market.

We’re also crowing about the news that three Clevelanders were nominated for prestigious James Beard Awards: Michael Symon for Best Chef: Great Lakes; Feast’s own “How-To” expert Carla Snyder for “The Big Book of Appetizers”; and Elaine Cicora of Cleveland Scene in the newspaper feature-writing category. Whether they get the coveted prizes or not (as we go to press, the announcement is just days away), I think they’re all winners, and we should be proud to call them our own.

Become part of what’s happening. Read Feast!, head to the Web to read and comment on what our daily bloggers have to say, and join the conversation on the foodie forum. It’s all happening every day at www.feastmagazine.net.
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