Archive for local SmartBlogs

When the Agriculture Department put long-awaited federal organic certification standards and a third-party inspection system into place in 2002, many who had been farming organically for years looked forward to being able to market their wares with a federal seal of approval.

At the same time, a group of small organic farmers in the mid-Hudson Valley area of New York who were mostly selling their produce at local farmer’s markets and to area chefs wanted to take a different approach, said Alice Varon, executive director of Certified Naturally Grown.[…] Continue Reading »

As restaurants attempt to innovate through dishing out new bold flavors and creating categories like upscale comfort food, so too turn the wheels behind the bar with moves that take popular liquors to make interesting new cocktails and, a little more outside the box, create the beginnings of a beer cocktail trend.

“Chelada, the Mexican thirst-quenching combo of lime juice and a light lager, the Black and Tan — Guinness and Harp — have been around for quite some time,” says Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights at the Hartman Group.[…] Continue Reading »

People often speak of Alice Waters as a leading light in the trend toward fresh, less processed food. Utilizing her now-famous restaurant Chez Panisse as a springboard, Waters pioneered — and politicized — a new way of thinking about food that chose as its motif the romance of an imagined, premodern past. “So successful was her recipe for authentic food that the values she braided together into Chez Panisse’s winning formula — fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable, traditional and simple — now seem inseparable,” Emma Marris observes in Slate.[…] Continue Reading »

Healthy food, more diversity and local produce are among the menu trends that Maeve Webster, senior director at Datassential, and Chip Bell, founder of Chip Bell Group and author, are currently seeing throughout the foodservice industry, ranging from food retailers to full-service restaurants. Both Bell and Webster will be speaking at this weekend’s PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo in Monterey, Calif.[…] Continue Reading »

When I lived in Tampa, Fla., in the 1980s and ’90s, Bern’s Steak House was the place everyone mentioned when talking about high-end steakhouses, and that apparently hasn’t changed since I moved away. But something else has, as the Tampa Bay Times reported. Founder Bern Laxer got into organic farming during the 1970s, and much of what he grew on his 7-acre farm wound up on the restaurant’s menu.[…] Continue Reading »