Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 30 of 131

grilled squash and cheese sandwich and chipotle black bean chili in the leaner, cold months. The Hilton Nashville Downtown has begun offering a farm-to-hotel menu, sourced with food and produce mostly from Tennessee. AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and Denver's Colorado Convention Center have dedicated efforts to serv- ing local food; the latter is planting a garden to grow produce to use in on-site menus. In St. Louis, the newly opened Fields Foods grocery store is bringing pesticide-free, organic produce and value-added products from 150 local vendors to an underserved area. And chef David Levi, founder of Vinland in Portland, Maine, has made serving a locally produced, seasonal menu a cornerstone of his new restaurant. "This is the only way I would have opened a restaurant," says Levi, who apprenticed at Noma in Copenhagen and Faviken Magasinet in northern Sweden. "This is about wanting to use my energies for a constructive and positive response to what is a trou- bling situation." Levi has a bold vision for Vinland. A history teacher-turned- chef, he wants his restaurant to be part of a food revolution that restores the American palate to eating healthier fare that is, ide- ally, locally sourced and sustainably harvested. To that end, he is using only ingredients found within Maine's borders. With a New England climate, that means no olive oil, no lemons, no black pep- per, and no cane sugar. "Our long-term goal is to help launch a culinary program. There's nothing more core to a culture than its food. The value of a culture ref lects and derives from the food it cultivates. I think the best hope we have is to radically change the way we harvest and eat food," he says. Within a few months, he plans to begin holding weekly cooking, nutrition, and ecology classes in his kitchen. Through months of trial and error, Levi has devised inventive menus featuring Maine's many offerings. Instead of olive oil, he uses clarified butter and animal fats or creates dishes that don't need oil. Instead of cane sugar, he uses maple syrup or a food's natural sweet- ness. Instead of lemons, he uses other acidifiers, such as apple cider vinegar, cranberries, sour fruit, and vegetables (even sauerkraut) or a paste he has made out of reduced yogurt whey. Vinland's beverage menu includes wines and coffees harvested beyond Maine's borders, but ensures they are organic and/or fair trade certified. After enduring years of supply problems, some retailers, such as Foragers City Grocers, have turned to farming themselves. "People aren't used to this kind of grocery store. There are no bananas, no pineapples. There is a lot of educating." PHOTO: FORAGERS PHOTO: FORAGERS 28 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com lede_Spring2014.indd 28 3/12/14 10:21 AM

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