Local Hero restaurants to highlight local ingredients

August 19, 2013
The Recorder
Richie Davis

Summertime in the Pioneer Valley offers a variety of locally grown food, often served in restaurants across Franklin County. To highlight that use of local food, CISA (Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture) will be holding its 10th annual Local Hero Restaurant Days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fifty-two local restaurants, 18 of them in Franklin County, will be highlighting the cornucopia of local produce, dairy, meat and bread.

“How great is it when you don’t have to travel for good food! We are so fortunate to live in a place where chefs and farmers are business partners as well as friends,” says Local Hero Membership Coordinator Devon Whitney-Deal.

The commitment to purchasing local is strong, she said. Last year, restaurants in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties invested about $2 million for local agricultural products.

Many of the restaurants will be featuring local delicacies as part of the Local Hero Restaurant Days. The Blue Heron in Sunderland will serve a homemade ricotta using dairy from Mapleline Farm in Hadley, alongside honeycomb sourced from bees in the Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield. Executive chef and co-owner Deborah Snow says she always tries to buy from nearby farms and serve local food in all seasons.

Alden Booth, owner of the People’s Pint brewpub in Greenfield, says that he strives to have local food for several reasons.

“Whenever we support local farms, we support their businesses as well as keeping the farmland and wildlife intact. In addition, supporting local businesses potentially benefits us because the farmers know our food is good quality … they grew it!”

Booth feels that the most important part of buying locally is the quality of the ingredients. He says that the Local Hero Restaurant Days “is a good cause because it raises the visibility of local food” and reminds the public of the bounty in Franklin County.

Participating restaurants

Franklin County restaurants taking part in the local food consciousness-raising event are:

  • Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern, Deerfield.
  • Chandler’s Restaurant, South Deerfield.
  • Blue Heron Restaurant, Sunderland.
  • Bridgeside Grill, Sunderland.
  • Bub’s BBQ, Sunderland.
  • Gill Tavern, Gill.
  • Hillside Pizza, Deerfield.
  • Hope and Olive, Greenfield.
  • Magpie, Greenfield.
  • Monarchs Restaurant, Deerfield.
  • Taylor’s Tavern and Restaurant, Greenfield.
  • The Baker’s Oven Bistro, Shelburne Falls.
  • The Farm Table at Kringle Candle, Bernardston.
  • The Night Kitchen, Montague.
  • The People’s Pint, Greenfield.
  • The Whately Inn, Whately.
  • Wagon Wheel Restaurant, Gill.
  • West End Pub, Shelburne Falls.