The Local Food Scene – Who Does What? Part 2

metrotomatoLast week we looked at the various consumer-oriented Toronto- and Ontario-based groups that advocate for local food. Today, in part 2, I’ve got info on regional groups in the GTA, Golden Horseshoe and beyond, as well as information on organic groups and organizations designed to serve the hospitality industry.

Regional Groups

Durham Farm Fresh – A guide to farmer’s markets, producers and growers as well as restaurants using local produce in Durham region.

Grown in Peel – Promotes local farms and produce in Peel region.

Hamilton Eat Local – A directory of local food information for folks in Hamilton. Includes info on community gardens, where to buy local produce and more.

 

Norfolk Farms – Promotional site for growers in Norfolk county, the top-producing area for produce in Ontario. Offers info on pick-your-own farms, seasonal produce and info for wholesalers looking to carry Ontario produce.

Northern Flavours – Culinary tourism site to promote northern Ontario, with a directory of local products and restaurants searchable by category or region.

Savour Muskoka – Promotes culinary tourism to the Muskoka region with information on chefs and restaurants, farms and locally-made products.

York Region Farm Fresh – Promoting local farms and produce in York region.

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The Women’s Culinary Network – A Kinder, Gentler Approach to the Kitchen

chefThere’s an old saying that goes “If women ruled the world, there would be no war.” Now I don’t actually believe this for a second, and despite my dislike of Bush and Cheney, I honestly believe they are the “softening factor” that is keeping Condoleeza Rice from turning the Middle East and North Korea into a literal dead zone. And we can all come up with examples of really scary women who really shouldn’t be running anything coughAnnCoultercough because their world view is just the teensiest bit warped.

But in general, women are likely to be more nurturing and empathetic than aggressive. In the realm of the restaurant industry, particularly the more mainstream businesses, being a woman in a kitchen can be pretty tough. There’s generally a lot of cursing, a lot of testosterone, and in some places, cheese throwing. And that’s when service is at its busiest. Downtime can quickly devolve to an adolescent level, which can be even worse.

A partial solution to the concerns that women in the food industry might have is the Women’s Culinary Network. Created in 1990 by four female chefs who found themselves working together in a small kitchen, the Network aims to create a place where female culinary professionals can get together to share experiences and define a supportive work environment.

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