Defining Local

“Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry in Yountville, honored as the Chef of the Year during the Sustainable Foods Institute, says, “For me, as I went through my career, as I came to understand where our product came from and where the best products came from, the term ‘local’ changed for me. It wasn’t about a geographical location, it was about quality of the product.”

“If we could get great lobsters from Maine every day at my back door, then for me that was a local product,” even if those lobsters were shipped overnight from across the country.

Keller acknowledges that many people might think “Well, this guy’s crazy” for calling a food shipped cross-country “local.”

In a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, Thomas Keller and other chefs say local food doesn’t necessarily come from nearby.

Crazy? In my opinion, yes, it is.

Obviously, I have my thoughts on what local means, but I’d love to know yours. So … what does local mean to you?