For the Love of Locavore:
Helping Our Community Grow
My passion for food started when I was very young, cooking at the side of my mother and during our Italian family gatherings. We lived in a small town and she would make a day of going to the local grocer, the cheese shop and the butcher. It was those moments when I started to relate the wonderful food with the people in our community who provided those fresh ingredients. Sadly, today most of those stores have closed, replaced by mega-stores and big-box stores where you can buy anything from food to clothes to automotive supplies.
In my everyday life, I’ve always gravitated to the local stores in my community, and you quickly get know them and they get to know you. Shopping for a Christmas gift for my mom last year, Greene & Greene Gallery in Lambertville easily recommended a silver ring. They remembered her from earlier visits; something unlikely to happen in the mega store.
When we opened our restaurant, Genevieve’s Kitchen, in Doylestown this provided an opportunity to extend this philosophy. I look for small, local merchants to source my food with a focus on organic, locally grown wherever possible. It not only supports the local community and economy, but the smaller providers have food in tune with the seasons and the unique qualities of the rich heritage of agriculture in the Greater Philadelphia area. This aligns with my focus on pure, simple, good food. I want people to be excited about the food they’re being served. By keeping it simple and not layering on too many ingredients, the flavor of the food really stands out.
I know you’re familiar with the term “farm-to-table” but I’d like to take it a step closer. Before it lands on the table, it’s in my kitchen. So “farm-to-kitchen” is the best way I can describe an experience and connection I have to our local farms and partners. Working closely with local vendors like Blue Moon Acres, Hesh’s Seafood, Small World Coffee, and FarmArt Produce, allows them to understand my culinary philosophy well enough to suggest new produce, seafood and meat options to make dining at Genevieve’s Kitchen truly unique. I talk with my fish guy, Dick, practically every day and he helps me purchase high quality wild, organic and local (whenever possible) seafood. Jeremy and I speak twice a week to discuss Blue Moon Acres 100% organic products - micro greens, mezze greens, arugula, spring greens, kale, red peppers, turnips, fingerling potatoes, fennel, French radishes, Jerusalem artichokes - whatever is in season and available.
Michael Pollan, American author of Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire once stated, “Eating's not a bad way to get to know a place.” So the next time you pass a farm, small business or local partner, remember to invite them into your kitchen to get a taste of local and share in supporting our community.