The August issue featured an in-depth look at the growing number of local chefs who are buying ingredients from area farmers and whipping them up into top-notch meals. The issue also included our annual schools coverage, in which we addressed the challenges faced by our public school system.
I’ve just read the latest issue of your magazine, and I feel really compelled to respond to the “Farm to Fork” article (by Hannah Miller) that is featured. I am a local chef, arriving here a little more than two years ago, before which time I was located in the Northeast for about seven years. That’s where I first arrived when I came over from Europe. I am a native of Italy, and spent about nine years of my professional life in the south of France.
In Europe, buying local produce and meats is not a recent trend or phenomenon as it is here in the U.S. It is a way of life for us and it has been for many decades. And while I am encouraged to think that American chefs are slowly embracing the “buying local” movement, I was very disturbed by the misrepresentations that were made in the article. It’s impossible for these chefs who were interviewed to claim that almost 90 percent of their produce comes from local farmers. First of all, there are not that many farmers in this area to be able to supply all of these Charlotte chefs who are making this claim. I, personally, buy from local farmers, in season, for four smaller Charlotte restaurants, and most of the time the farmers have to cut my order because they don’t have enough supply to meet my demands. That said, it is quite impossible to believe that all of these restaurants in Charlotte that are quoted in your article are actually serving so much local produce when I can barely make daily specials with the local produce I am able to procure on a weekly basis.
I was one of the chefs interviewed for that article and I think I was the only one to acknowledge the difficulty in finding local produce. I appreciate your interest in this “buy local” movement, but I felt the need to speak when I read the claims that were made, which are simply not true.
Us and Dems
In your August issue under “The Power Meter” (The Buzz, page 26), I found it interesting that Mayor Pat McCrory is “Up” and the local Democratic Party is “Down.” As a customer and stockholder of Duke Energy, I resent the fact that McCrory collects a paycheck from Duke Energy and works very little there. And as to your statement that “local Dems still can’t scrape together a decent candidate for mayor,” Beverly Earle is a decent candidate, and we local Dems didn’t have to scrape anything. Mayor McCrory is more concerned with his image and climbing the Republican ladder than he is to the leadership and concerns of Charlotte. I, personally, am glad to have Beverly Earle take him on. After he is roughed up in a Republican primary, hopefully she will deliver the knockout punch.
Editor’s Reply: Due to our early lead times, the item in “The Power Meter” was written before Beverly Earle announced her candidacy for mayor.
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