It has been far too long, my friends. There will be no recipes this installment, just the sharing of a few concepts and ideas that I've been playing with over my extended absence from Food Bulli. This is also about getting ya'll up to speed with me. It's been a very full year. Excitement and disappointment were both in attendance. I'm at a new restaurant, working in-house and running the food cart that is associated with it. Job number three is running the vegetable program for Grateful Growers LLC, the farm that supplies most of the pork for the restaurant.
I'm now located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's a city in dire need of forward thinking people, that want to build something special from the ground up. Housing costs here are 40% of what they are in Portland, so you can make ends meet here in this economy. My new home is located in Charlotte's EcoDistrict. The backyard is huge, and I have many ideas for it. Seating for 20 or more at a communal table, a pit bbq, outdoor bread oven, and many raised beds for my beloved organic produce. My supper club idea from two years back will become a reality here.
Enough about that.
I've never been more serious about eating locally. The restaurant that I work for is a farm-to-table joint, so access to "the good stuff" is extremely easy here. Add in weekly trips to the farmers market, and a willingness to cut down on meat consumption,and before you know it, you're helping out small farms instead of Monsanto or ConAgra. Living in this manner allows you to make a difference in a grass-roots way. You get to know the folks that actually picked your food, and the quality doesn't get any better. The local cheese is magnificent here, the meat wonderful, the produce sublime. The wine however, needs help, but I digress..
There are exceptions to be made in the extreme localvore diet. Wheat flour, olive oil, salt, spices, good wine, and a few other things(I can't in good conscience eat Alaskan Salmon here, trout from the mountains will suffice, I can make Lox with that.) The Carolina seafood is superb, and there's fish here that I haven't eaten(or prepared) much of. I welcome the challenge.
So, all-in-all, with the opportunity to do something new, something meaningful, something that could potentially make a difference in this community, the cross-country move will be worth it. West Coast, I miss you dearly, but what did I accomplish with you? I'm glad we parted ways as friends, not bitter enemies. I'll be back one day to begin our friendship anew. Until then, keep being you, west coast. I'll always love you, I'm just not in love with you anymore.
Thanks for reading friends,