Dispatch From Let Us Eat Local


Last night’s Let Us Eat Local benefit looked less like a fundraiser than a food festival of the locavore gods. Held in the opulent confines of the Prince George Ballroom, the event raised money for Just Food, the non-profit organization that raises awareness of the sustainable food movement. Twenty-nine restaurants, as well as purveyors like Murray’s Cheese, Rick’s Picks, and Sweet Deliverance, were on-hand to ply the crowd with seasonal and sustainable delicacies, and lots and lots of beer. There was smoked bluefish from Almond, blood sausage from the Vanderbilt, bacon cornbread and smoky succotash from the Tipsy Parson, wild strawberries with wasabi sorbet from Jean Georges, fried oysters from Mas Farmhouse, and meatballs with vegetable compote from Cookshop, to name but a few.

The benefit paid tribute to Brian Halweil, the executive editor of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, and East End, as well as Roxbury Farm‘s Jean-Paul Courtens and Jody Bolluyt, and East Side Farm’s Karen Washington.

Manhattan Bourough President Scott Stringer, who’s lately been in the news for his work to make food policy a priority for city government, made a few remarks, saying, “the next environmental and sustainability revolution is in this room…and Just Food is the organization that will lead that revolution.”

Washington, accepting her award, cautioned that “things aren’t going to change if it’s just non-profits talking to each other.” It was an honest sentiment, albeit one that the crowd didn’t devour quite as voraciously as their mussels ceviche and nectarine tarts.