Ag and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain will be eating local this month. He is participating in the first annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge. The challenge is for participants to eat food that is grown or caught within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans. “The best chefs of New Orleans use only the freshest ingredients in their recipes. That’s why their restaurants are so good,” Strain said. “When you use fresh, local ingredients, you can taste the difference.”
The challenge was issued by the NOLA Locavores, a group founded by Leslie Brown, the founder of NOLA Veggie Fest, Linda Michurski of Hollygrove Market and Farm and Lee Stafford, the founder of Euterpre Recycling Center. The goal of the Challenge is connect residents of the Crescent City with their food’s origins.
Contestants of the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge will pay a $20 registration fee that entitles them to a 2011 Eat Local Challenge t-shirt and a 10 percent discount on produce purchased at the Hollygrove Market and Farm. They’ll also receive a New Orleans Foods Buyer Guide, access to daily postings of recipes and tips, free admission to the Food Justice Film Series at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center and an invitation to the finale party July 1.
There will be five recipe contests throughout the Challenge in which contestants can win prizes like cookbooks, a three-course catered locavore meal and a case of wine. “When you eat locally you are supporting the local farmer and small business owners in your town,” Strain said.