Locavores Eating Up Chefs’ Gardens

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “Locavores Eating Up Chefs’ Gardens”

"Sometimes local sourcing comes straight from the chef’s garden. Name a chef who doesn’t source at least some fresh produce, meats, and other products from local, sustainable farmers and producers. As the fascination with fresh and local grows, it may be impossible to name such a chef."

"What might be easier nowadays is to name chefs and restaurants who have added their own on-​site gardens and even small farms," Amelia Levin writes. "This hyper-​local trend seems to be catching on, but growing and managing a garden is no easy task. It requires a special skill set in horticulture that some chefs have taken upon themselves, or have partnered with others to adopt." Here’s how one chef is managing his gardens.

'In a freestanding house-​turned-​restaurant, complete with a wrap-​around patio and converted parking lot, Chef Kevin Fonzo has been able to expand his garden to include three planting beds and a 20-​foot by 15-​foot in-​ground soil garden. About 15 percent of the menu comes from what’s grown right on site, and the garden is also aesthetically pleasing. The outdoor garden has been equipped with patio concrete and furniture to be able to hold receptions, garden dinners, and other events."

Local restaurants can market to Locavores at festivals and restaurant weeks. The AudienceSCAN study found 29% of Locavores will attend beer/​wine festivals, 25% will go to local community fests and 17% will dine out during restaurant week.

"Chef Fonzo does it all himself with the help of the line cooks he’s trained to work in the garden—and who find it just as relaxing as he does to get out of the kitchen. “Part of the line cooks’ schedule is to weed for half an hour in the garden before washing up and coming inside,” he says. They also weigh in on what should be grown next."

Don't let restaurateurs stop marketing their local menus! AudienceSCAN survey results say 18% of Locavores think if a local business that advertises a lot suddenly stops, they must be hurting.

"The garden is open for guests to visit, smell the produce, and pick and taste things when they are dining at the restaurant, and it is also available for local school children to visit." Highlight the interactivity in daily deals and digital display ads. AudienceSCAN research reported 28% of Locavores saw a deal and then took action in the past month.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.