..."There is a massive groundswell of cultural interest in food that embraces locally grown ingredients and supports the retention of artisanal skills and produce diversity. As we start a new decade, there is a new connection with where and how our food is grown and made.
Our changing attitudes to food start with growing our own food — at home in the backyard, in pots on the balcony and most recently in community gardens. We see this new connection to food too when we shop at farmers' markets and then experiment with cooking with local food and farm to table dining. Eating in restaurants that support local ingredients and artisanal produce can also revitalise our relationship to the produce we consume. Like the generations of farmers before us, urban cooks are now embracing using the best of what's fresh and in season — and then returning to home preserving to store the excess.
This change is heralded by an increasing number of chefs who are basing their menus around local ingredients. Celebrity TV Ready Steady Cook chef Jared Ingersoll is "passionate about supporting local farmers and artisan producers". "A big motivator was watching the erosion of our food culture," he said recently. It is seven years since he started the Danks Street Depot in Sydney, and Jared laments that he has seen many small producers go out of business, or suffer ill health from financial stress in that period. He says that while "we hear romantic stories of beef in Argentina and olive oil from Spain," when we turn to imported produce, we are neglecting the quality and skills that are available on our doorstep. "...
Rebecca believes in the generosity of food and enjoys (home and restaurant) cookery that uses fresh local seasonal produce as its base. She has worked as a chef (restaurants and catering), a food producer and a food retailer - now she's sharing her love of food through freelance writing, food blogging and on twitter.