Ten years ago, finding a restaurant where you could eat fresh, locally sourced food would have either cost you your entire paycheck or been impossible to find. Today, the farm to table dining scene is proliferating, and with it comes a proliferation of intense one-upmanship when it comes to the thoroughness of local sourcing that has some of us wondering if the day will come when diners will be expected to simply place an order for which raised bed they’d like to eat from and pull up a chair. In the meantime, we have the idea of “hyperlocal” sourcing, which has restaurants running their own farms, raising food inside the dining room, and grazing cows outside the dining room window. Below is a list of 10 restaurants doing everything they can to put their local food systems on a plate.
Photographer, food stylist, cook, and author Melina Hammer is on a mission to change the way people treat and think about food. In her debut cookbook, “Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen,” aimed at aspiring eight to 13 year old chefs, Hammer offers more than 70 recipes, drool-worthy photographs, and helpful tips. Seedstock recently caught up with Hammer during a visit to her hometown of Detroit to discuss her inspirations, her strategies for changing the food system through teaching, and the challenge of eating healthily in an area with limited access to fresh food.
Seedstock: What is your goal with this cookbook?
Melina Hammer: The current landscape of seduction in food advertising makes it more important than ever to clarify what good eating really is. Creating a book with the skills to empower kids seemed like the perfect place to begin. My goal is to provide the tools and confidence for kids to take the reigns in the kitchen. I want to empower kids – and adults! – to make good food: from developing a discerning eye in sourcing quality ingredients, to refining and mastering various culinary skills.
Acclaimed Nigerian-born chef Tunde Wey is exploring issues of race and identity in America through a traveling dinner series called “Blackness in America” that features traditional Nigerian food and a rotating cast of featured guests. Following stops in New Orleans and Detroit, Seedstock caught up with Wey to discuss his background and what led him to create this unique culinary project that blurs the lines between food service, cultural study, and community forum.
Since the founding of Southern Foodways Alliance in 1999, the organization has focused on highlighting the attributes of southern food culture, featuring the work—edible and otherwise—of all types of southern writers, chefs, farmers and more.
Seedstock recently interviewed Melissa Hall, assistant director of the SFA, and found out how the SFA has grown over the years, how it remains funded and future goals of the organization.