The Good Food 100 2017

The Rallying Cry  

What does good food mean to you?

By Amanda M. Faison

Ask someone what Good Food means to them and you’ll get a variety of answers that likely share the same core message: It’s good for both you and the land. At the Good Food Media Network we push that thinking further and define it as food that’s good for every link in the chain: the environment, plants and animals, producers, purveyors, restaurants, and, ultimately diners. It’s the sense of doing right on all fronts.
In our 2017 survey, we asked participating chefs, owners, restaurateurs, and the powers that be behind large food service companies to answer that very question in their own words. Replies came from all across the country and from vastly different entities—from small fast-casual eateries to James Beard Award–winning fine-dining restaurants, and the unified message confirmed that this movement is a force to be reckoned with.
Read on for the first-hand responses, and watch for the Good Food 100’s annual survey to go live on January 10. Together we can change the food landscape in 2018 and beyond.

“My mission when it comes to sourcing is local first, but always sustainable. Local food provides an immediate impact on our communities, and this impact helps to create change not only by putting hyper-fresh ingredients on the table for our guests, but also in our economies by supporting local farms and food artisans. The Good Food 100 is an important next step in our industry to provide transparency for our guests to know the chefs and restaurants who are taking care in sourcing healthy ingredients.” —William Dissen, executive chef-owner, The Market Place Restaurant, Asheville, North Carolina (6 Links)

“Good Food is the most ethical, thoughtful, mindfully produced food we can get our hands on. It involves total engagement with our global agricultural community, obsessiveness with soil and sunshine, grass, and grain. It is a work of love, labor, dreams, and failure. Good Food is nourishment from the heart outward and from the sky downward. It is full of tales of dirt under fingernails and old tractors and musty barns and manure-covered boots. Good Food is romantic and slow and kind.” —Daniel Asher, chef-owner, River and Woods, Boulder, Colorado (6 Links)

“We believe deeply in the responsibility of our purchases. We support small farmers, diversity of agriculture, and pasture living for animals. We respect the lives given and use all parts “snout to tail.” You are responsible for the path of your dollar. Have it change our broken food system.” —Duskie Estes, chef-proprietor Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Sebastopol, California (6 Links)

“Serving ‘good food’ is not a passing trend, it is a defining characteristic of the restaurant industry and the way more and more of us want to eat and live. The Good Food 100 List provides us with the necessary metrics to continue to drive this sensibility and challenge ourselves to improve the world around us. —Michael Anthony, executive chef, Gramercy Tavern, New York City, New York (6 Links)