Best New Dining Trend (2007)

Use of locally grown foods

The national buzzword among health-conscious diners used to be organic. It still is, to some extent, but as large corporations and supermarket chains increasingly dominate the organic food market, local has become the focus. It's the closest we, as urban dwellers, can come to eating fruits and vegetables grown in our back yards — and in a way, the Redland and farmlands of Homestead are our collective back yard. That Miami chefs have so enthusiastically embraced this trend is encouraging for numerous reasons. First, buying food directly from local family farms puts fresher, less processed products on our restaurant plates, and promotes sustainable and humane practices — while nonlocal food is often linked with heavy subsidies, poor animal welfare, lack of care for the environment, and poor working conditions. Second, we are blessed to be living so near to fertile farmlands that produce not only fine tomatoes, strawberries, and such, but an array of tropical fruits few other American cities can come close to — close being the operational word here. And finally, it's a sign of Miami's maturity into a relevant American food city that our chefs are so in sync with what is going on gastronomically elsewhere in the country. Even just a couple of years ago, this wasn't the case. Think globally. Buy locally. Can ya digç


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