Reader: Farm-to-table is not a sales tool, it's a freaking movement!
TJ Hobbs at Ghost Plate & Tap.
TJ Hobbs, who now heads the kitchen at Ghost Plate & Tap, was raised in rural Minnesota, and his first job was working on an organic farm -- so he understands the farm-to-table concept. And he'd like to see the "farm to table" moniker disappear in 2013. "Not the use of local farmed products, but just the saying," he explains. "We should all be trying to buy and support local and seasonal products as much as possible, but that phrase is being totally overused."
Not according to one reader:
I'm sorry, this pisses me off to no end. I'm sorry the term "farm to table" has lost its MARKETING power for you. That it doesn't SELL food the way it did last year. You, sir, are THE problem in my industry. This should have never been a marketing term...it's too important. We aren't espousing the merits of Farm to Table just to jump on a popular bandwagon! Or to sell more covers in a night. The TERM is important because it associates the two in the general public's mind. And that STILL hasn't set (go to any chain and see). The term exists as a vehicle to associate two interconnected things that have sadly been forgotten.
I live very close to Delta County, where much of the good food is grown in Colorado, and I can see it plain as day.... since the coining of that term, not only have the jaded, self-important shlock chefs become MORE than rock stars today but our farmers have become rock stars, too (and that's the way it should be). And that matters more than your marketing budget, my friend: It's not a sales tool, it's a freaking MOVEMENT.
I have always taken that very seriously; it's a shame so many of our "rock star" chefs have forgotten that in the span of a year. Maybe they should have never trumpeted that principle even with Sysco and Shamrock Foods trucks parked at their back door; maybe the "term" wouldn't have lost its importance...maybe the people who hear/read it wouldn't think it's a joke or a ploy...maybe those same rock star chefs, maybe they'd save a little face now while losing their precious "movements" in the flashy reflection from their own swollen egos.
What do you think of Colorado's farm-to-table movement? Post your thoughts below -- and watch for the second installment of TJ Hobbs's Chef and Tell interview later this morning.
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