Key moments in NYC's locavore history
Mon Jun 13 2011
1971: Alice Waters opens her trailblazing bistro, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. Renowned for using seasonal, locally produced ingredients, the restaurant would influence a generation of chefs, including NYC alums Dan Barber (Blue Hill) and Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto).
1975: Queens County Farm Museum is registered as a New York City Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In operation since 1697, the 47-acre plot is the longest continuously farmed site in New York City.
1976: The Union Square Greenmarket launches. Operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, it is now New York City's biggest farmers' market, with 140 farmers, fishermen and bakers participating as vendors each week.
1985: Danny Meyer opens his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe. In 2003, Meyer tells New York magazine, "If the Union Square farmers' market were to close, I may as well not even have restaurants."
1990: Peter Hoffman and his wife, Susan Rosenfeld, open Savoy on Prince Street in Soho. Hoffman's commitment to seasonal and locally sourced produce quickly establishes the restaurant as New York's answer to Chez Panisse.
1993: Larry Forgione is named Chef of the Year at the James Beard Awards for his work at An American Place in Murray Hill. A true trailblazer, Forgione also starts the first "free-range" chicken farm in the 1980s, in Warwick, NY, and coins the term.
1996: Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, founders of the Brooklyn Brewery, move a part of their production from Utica, NY, to Williamsburg, creating the first commercial brewery in New York City since Schaefer and Rheingold both closed in 1976.
2000: Dan Barber opens Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. The menu showcases ingredients from small farms, including the chef's own Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, MA, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY.
2006: Edible Brooklyn magazine debuts. The premiere issue includes pieces on smoked fish in Greenpoint and Dumbo's Jacques Torres Chocolates. The launch of Edible Manhattan follows in September 2008.
2006: New York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt coins the term haute barnyard to describe eateries with self-consciously local menus and rustic design. Platt names restaurants like Blue Hill, Craft, Telepan and Savoy as examples. The term catches on and appears in The New York Times in 2007.
2007: Mario Batali and his business partner Joseph Bastianich stop selling bottled water at Del Posto. "Filling cargo ships with water and sending it hundreds and thousands of miles to get it around the world seems ridiculous," Bastianich tells The New York Times.
2007: TONY publishes a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) directory. The comprehensive guide covers CSA locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
2007: Locavore is named 2007's Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
2008: Chris Parachini, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi open Roberta's, a locavore eatery in Bushwick with its own rooftop garden and Internet radio station run by Heritage Foods.
2008: Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby open the Brooklyn Flea, a weekly outdoor market in Fort Greene, which today has up to 150 local and regional vendors of food and merchandise every Saturday.
2009: Annie Novak and Ben Flanner begin farming at what would become Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, atop a warehouse in Greenpoint. Today, the produce is sold at an on-site Sunday market, through a CSA, and to local restaurants and food shops, including Marlow & Sons and Paulie Gee's.
2009: Hevva Corp launches Locavore, a smartphone app that guides users to the nearest farmers' markets and tells them what's in season locally.
2009: Colin Spoelman and David Haskell found Kings County Distillery in East Williamsburg, the first whiskey distillery to open in NYC since before Prohibition.
2009: Dan Barber (Blue Hill) is named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people for his work in sustainability.
2009: In New York State, baked goods, candy (except chocolate), jams, spices and snack foods like popcorn are exempted from the requirement of using a commercial kitchen, allowing everyday food artisans to start selling their wares.
2010: New York City's ban on beekeeping is lifted, legalizing the hives of hundreds of urban beekeepers, including those of small businesses like the Brooklyn Bee and Brooklyn Honey.
2011: Peter Hoffman closes Savoy after more than 20 years in business.