The Nature Conservancy polled foodies in 11 major areas nationwide about their favorite sustainable restaurants. Restaurants that serve ingredients that fit some or all of the following criteria could be considered: organic, local, in-season foods, source sustainably managed seafood, or offer grass-fed and free-range meat options. Consumers responded with hundreds of nominations, ultimately crowning the following restaurants the People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award winners:
The promotion launched on April 30 and closed on June 21.
“At Gather, our food is inspired by the local farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers and we have an unwavering commitment to sustainability,” said Eric Fenster, Co-Owner, Gather Restaurant. “We are honored to be recognized by the public for our commitment to sustainability. Our kitchen team carefully sources all ingredients at peak season and we cook from root-to-shoot and nose-to-tail.”
“We were really ahead of the trend 20 years ago, seeking to support local farms for the best food we could give our guests,” said Nat Stratton-Clarke, owner of Café Flora. “Now it’s a trend, and I hope someday it’s just the normal way of doing business.”
“I am honored to have my restaurants, Real Food Daily, win the 2012 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award in Los Angeles. In 1993, I made the commitment to serving an exclusively plant-based cuisine to benefit people's personal health and that of the planet we share,” said Ann Gentry Founder of Real Food Daily.
“We are committed to sourcing as many foods as possible from within the state, including locally produced beer, wine, meats, and fish. The Teahouse also participates in local recycling projects, and uses 100% compostable paper products for both in-house uses and To-Go orders,” said Sara Stewart Martinelli from Three Leaf Concepts which owns The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.
"Market 17 is proud to accept this award because we take pride in using as many local and organic ingredients as possible, minimizing waste and maintaining the highest standards of quality and freshness," said Aaron Grauberger, Managing Partner, Market 17.
Recent trends show a dramatic shift toward sourcing local foods and using more sustainable practices for farming and fishing. Nature’s Plate highlighted restaurants that are leading and supporting this trend. While the contest focused on restaurants, it was only the start of a conversation about food, conservation and The Nature Conservancy’s work with farmers, fishermen and ranchers.
Bite-sized actions make a big difference for consumers and the planet. Nature’s Plate was an opportunity for people to help raise awareness of delicious food that’s good for them and good for the planet. Nature’s Plate was brought to you by The Nature Conservancy and supported Open Table.
“Food is one of the most personal ways we connect with nature. Support your local restaurants that offer sustainably caught seafood and locally harvested fruits and vegetables,” said Wendy Pulling, California Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy. “You can boost the local economy, enjoy a great meal and help the planet.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.