Let’s get one thing straight: You don’t have to be a farmer to eat locally.
Okay, so that’s obvious. We all buy from farmers’ markets and seek out local goodies from Whole Foods. But be honest. Deep down inside, as you ponder how to add more local ingredients to your diet, aren’t you afraid someone will assume you’re one slippery slope away from driving a pick-up and owning a pressure canner?
Eating locally still conveys a bit of homeliness that, frankly, it doesn’t deserve.
After all, many restaurants have joined in the local parade. Props to Tucker Shaw in last Wednesday’s Denver Post (“The Audacity of Dinner”) for bringing that fact to people’s attention in his discussion of Shazz. Shaw describes the menu as “contemporary fare” that’s, in the words of chef/owner Benny Kaplan, “ingredient-driven.” And many ingredients come from local sources, including dairy from Wholesome Milk Products in Pueblo and all-natural beef from River Ranches in Steamboat. Other local sources are listed on the restaurant’s website.
Shazz isn’t the only area restaurant focused on local and sustainably harvested ingredients. The Kitchen in Boulder and Duo immediately come to mind as being dedicated adherents to this philosophy. Bravo to all three for showing us that local and sophisticated can be synonyms.