By Jake Brach
Available by mail order ($25 plus $8 shipping/handling). For info, go to http://thesustainablechef.com
Brach is a regional culinary manager for Rich Products Corp. who is also a passionate gardener and an equally passionate supporter of farmers and farmers markets in New York State. His book, which tells the stories of nine different farms in the state, may at first glance seem too Empire State-centric for those in the other 49 states, but love for fresh local produce, artisan products and free-range, grass-fed livestock knows no borders. And joy in such products seeps from every page here.
On a more practical level, Brach offers dozens of recipes, many of them quite basic, that incorporate the products flowing from New York State's growers, but which can really be made by anyone, often with at least some of their own local products.
But the real value of the book is in its highlighting of what can be available from nearby. Most FM readers, if they tried, could come up with a similar list of local producers from their regions, all with just as interesting stories to tell and fabulous products to offer.