Hot on the heels (trotters?) of Sean's success linked to innovation, everyone's friends at the New York Times posted this article about the close knit relationship between farms and restaurants.
From the article:
And increasingly, small-farm success is linked to innovation. “The fun is trying something new — when a chef says to me, can you grow it?” said Richard Ball, the owner of Schoharie Valley Farms in Schoharie, N.Y., for the last 17 years. “I try six new things every year. To grow higher-end and many different crops — well, it’s survival for us. That is how we stay alive.”
I won't harp too long on this one, but I'm having a harder and harder time coming to grips with the fact that there is a feed lot right here in the South Okanagan and yet there is no local beef in the restaurants of the South Okanagan.
Not to disparage 6 new and different types of onions or rutabagas or whatever, but what if farmers regularly brought out a new breed of pig or cow for our consideration? Would that stunt the restaurant industry? Would that cripple our local agriculture/hospitality economy or would the synergistic relationship between the two sectors benefit everyone?
Maybe Mangalista tastes no different than your average Jimmy Dean (tm) oinker and Wagyu is tastes no different than your average Ray A. Kroc satan burger made of dethkulture ground. Maybe people aren't interested, and can't tell the difference. Maybe people, when told of a special featuring a braised, breaded, fried pigs foot stuffed with pig cheek they actually heard "chicken sandwich" and didn't notice when PIGFOOT arrived at the table, 13 times, in the space of an hour.
In the off chance if there is a difference, and everyone who comes to dine in the Okanagan isn't an uncultured rube idiot, and "we" are predisposed to celebrate heirloom varieties of plants, why not heirloom animals?
Oh, and don't forget innovation. Apparently success is linked to it.