Local Gourmands was started in the dead of winter, in early 2008, when I was just back from a trip to West Africa. Without a steady gig to pay the rent in Brooklyn, and eager to find a job in food, particularly one that favored my Greenmarketing ways, I started frequenting “green” networking happy hours in the hope that one connection would lead to another and eventually a salary. I would slap on a nametag with “local foodie” scrawled in Sharpie and make my way around the room, introducing myself one handshake at a time. When I blabbed to friends about the cook book readings, compost workshops, and artisanal cheese tastings that were now booking my calendar, they started to ask if I would let them know the next time I heard about an upcoming local food event.
Two years later, the list of “local gourmands” who like to keep up with the evolving local food scene in New York continues to grow. Every time I turn around there is a new artisanal food market, farm fundraiser, or snout-to-tail dinner with local wine pairings to coo about. The local food movement in New York gains more momentum, more educated and enthusiastic supporters, and more press by the day. My hope is that this newsletter serves as a platform to tie together, inspire, and inform a community of those who care about where their food comes from, those who grow it, and the local food economy that sustains us all right here in New York City.