My wife, Tammi, and I recently attended the soft launch of our friend's new store in Omaha: Provisions by The Grey Plume. Chef Clayton Chapman is a gifted and humble artisan, food-preneur. The Grey Plume is nationally recognized by the James Beard Foundation, the Green Restaurant Association, and Wusthof as one of the most leading-edge restaurants in the country. You must go there!
The Grey Plume is part of the on-going national conversation about eating locally or regionally sourced and seasonally driven food. It's being much more intentional about the foods we consume, exceptionally prepared dishes, and enjoying artisanal beers and regional wines. Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation reminds us that an entire generation has been raised on unhealthy processed foods rich in saturated fats. That most certainly is my generation born in the 1960's.
The farm-to-table or farm-to-fork concept is more than an urban cliché. It is a social movement built on deeply-held values and beliefs about being gentler on the Earth, on ourselves, and toward each other. This family and community centric movement is a modern day Renaissance of Laertes' farm. Greek mythology holds that Laertes, father of Odysseus, had a finely cultivated vineyard that produced organic raw commodities for people in a small trade area to use in their meals at home. Some fine modern day examples:
Hoffman Strategy Group is involved in establishing a regional culinary incubator in Nebraska City. In close proximity to Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, and Kansas City, the organizers envision this farm-to-table incubator as the soil in which to cultivate the next generation of food-entrepreneurs. Once again demonstrating the synergy between rural and urban living. We hope to make an impact on the sustainability of restaurants, brewers, and retail stores in three-ways:
- Brand Identity
- Consumer Differentiation
- Location Selection
So, Chef Chapman, and the other chef's of this great new genre, congratulations on your endeavors! The world is a better, healthier, place because of you!