Today I am applying for a scholarship with Nora Pouillon (restaurant Chez Nora, in D.C.). Writing my essay made me think about the good food revolution that is growing around us.
We are what we eat.
Since the 70’s, the movement to bring fresh farm foods to restaurants has grown significantly and has met many successes. As a chef, it’s my obligation to use fresh, local, seasonal, organic and nutritious ingredients for my clients. As a conscious citizen, it’s my duty to promote this food movement to help people to take responsibility for their own health, and during this economic crisis, to support local small farms. The opportunity to learn from Nora Pouillon at her award-winning restaurant, at the farm (growing food is all about the soil) and in the market would be an invaluable experience for me. To be in the system, observing the “behind the scenes” process of bringing foods from farms to tables and to learn how to use these ingredients in the best way, will help me develop a greater understanding of the benefits of buying directly from local producers.
My interest in nutrition has been life long because early on I noticed a link between my migraines and what I ate. Eating well is a necessity for my wellness. For many years I worked in cosmetics and nutrition, most notably for the Weleda company (which uses biodynamic grown plants in their products). Most recently I graduated from the Chef Training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute, one of the few culinary schools that teaches organic, mostly plants-based, health-supportive cooking methods. Since graduating last year, I’ve been cooking as a personal chef for various clients, implementing healthy meals and eating habits. I am also in the process of starting a blog (www.healingchefelodie.blogspot.com), to share my experiences about eating the right foods to fight migraines and to promote lifetime commitment to nutritionally wholesome food.
This scholarship is so important to me because, although I embrace the principles of the philosophy, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to be actively and directly involved with the key players of the farm-to-table movement. In the near future I want to be able to share with my clients what I believe in with the actual experiences to back it up. Everyone has the capacity to participate: customers need to demand local grown food and this will change what is available to people. Nora Pouillon is an inspiration to me. She is a pioneer of bringing organic foods to the plates, and she has always been environmentally conscious. I deeply admire her commitment to her community: she created the first farmers market in D.C. (Fresh Farm Markets), she serves on the Amazon Conservation Team, the Environmental Film Festival, Earth Day Network and last but not least the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s “Food as Medicine” program.
This is an exciting time for me to be part of the local food movement. In my personal New York circle, I am becoming involved in the edible estates movement which promotes and supports the growth of edible gardens in people’s backyards. This hopefully will change the way America looks at its own landscaping: switching from the “great” lawn to the edible one. I would like to believe that if people would see where their food comes from, they would make better decisions and enjoy health sustainable living. The good food revolution has started.