Monday, October 8, 2007

Inspiration: Eat at Bill's: Life in the Monterey Market

I love the DocFest! Went to see Eat at Bill's last night. Check out a preview here. An absolute gem that leaves you with a huge grin on your face and a craving for next season's cherries.

The film follows local food hero, Bill Fujimoto through three seasons at Monterey Market in Berkeley. Directed by an Ojai Pixie Tangerine farmer, Lisa Brenneis--as the film unfolds you realize that Monterey Market isn't just about being the best produce store, it's about supporting small local farmers, unique varieties (check out a puff ball mushroom, like this one), creating community, connecting farm-food-and table. Small farmers have not only survived due to Bill's support,they've thrived. Creating a market that is absolutely overflowing with gorgeous seasonal produce that you can practically smell & taste sitting in the theater.

I wish there were more markets like this---it's so much more satisfying to have a direct link between farm and market. Farmers can't survive on farmers' markets and CSAs alone--they need a Monterey Market that will support them through both buying in quantity and buying unusual varieites for the right price. Monterey Market also caters to chefs, supplying produce to up to 12 chefs per day from places like Zuni & Bay Wolf. This takes an incredible amount of work and committment. Bill goes above and beyond the traditional model: farm>distributor>supermarket, all with an infectious enthusiasm and down to earth perspective--it's all about the produce.

I want to be like Bill.

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