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Local Food Network
November 1, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox The main goal of the first ever local food conference held in Huntington recently was to connect regional food producers with buyers from area restaurants, grocery stores and school systems.

"I feel like we have so much potential with Huntington being a mid-sized city, surrounded by all of this rural land, all of this farming activity, if we could capture that, I feel like it could be a really big input into our local economy," organizer Lauren Kemp said.

People who attended got a chance to taste locally prepared foods and network to find out more about establishing a network that makes buying local more accessible.

"Maybe you're sitting at a restaurant with this beautiful plate of food in front of you, and you don't realize all the work it takes to get it there," Kemp explained.

21 at the Frederick is one of several restaurants in Huntington that are part of the 30 Mile Meal program, incorporating local ingredients into their menu.

"It's all about the seasonality. Our goal is to get fresh seasonal ingredients, something that's the best around, and get it to the people," Sous chef Zachary Chancey said.

Chancey said it adds a layer of transparency when you establish more local connections.

"You know exactly where it's coming from. You can have a conversation with the farmer. You can see that these people are passionate. It's a group of passionate people doing something that we all enjoy," he said.

They hope to create a buyer grower director listing local food growers and buyers interested in volume sales to better connect the two.


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