The voting was furious; more than 1,000 people visited our website to check out the ballot for 2014’s Local Heroes. And all voted with their hearts. The East End appreciates its food artisans, chefs, farmers, nonprofits and retail shops that help us stay in touch with our foodshed and realize the important effort to consume locally produced food.
It’s the way it’s been done since the beginning of time, and lately our country has had to come to terms with industrial agriculture, food miles and adulterated products. It’s not healthy, it’s not pretty and it’s not sustainable. So thanks to everyone who voted, and here’s to the people who have made writing Edible East End easy and enjoyable. Take your bow.
Food and Beverage Artisan Local Hero for 2014: Montauk Brewing Company. Way to go guys. There’s nothing better than the newest generation planting a stake on their home turf, and making good beer.
Nonprofit Local Hero for 2014: Peconic Land Trust. The East End has been at the vanguard of land preservation countrywide. PLT’s new push to keep preserved land in food production can only mean a better future. (We have got to get these people together for a photo.)
Food or Beverage Shop Local Hero for 2014: Fork & Anchor. These women haven’t been out here long, but their dedication to serving deliciously prepared local food and reliance on our farmers has made us feel like they’ve been around forever.
Chef/Restaurant Local Hero of 2014: Gerry Hayden. In a hotly contested category, Chef Hayden came out on top. He’s been recognized by Slow Food East End with their first awarding of the Carlo Petrini prize and by us all for his gritty and inspiring dedication to his work while living with ALS.
Farm/Farmer Local Hero of 2014: Holly and Chris Browder of Browder’s Birds. Happy eaters flooded this category, which was stacked with stiff competition. But the Browders have been tireless in promoting not only their birds, but the agricultural produce of the East End. There was a time when no one could herd the cats needed for a farmers market. Holly Browder helped create two this past winter.