Categories
Cookbook Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The First Lady of the Organic Food Movement

Chef and restaurateur Nora Pouillon is Washington, DC’s- and the nation’s – Forever First Lady in the world of organic food and sustainability. When she arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s from her native Austria, our country was on a diet of processed foods and agricultural products treated with chemicals -and in too many communities still is. Determined to feed both her family and her customers healthy, farm fresh food like she grew up eating in Europe, Nora set out to find local farmers to supply her food. It wasn’t easy but Nora was committed to finding a better and healthier solution to serve

local, seasonally prepared meals.
nora-photo-in-chair
Restaurant Nora opened in its 19th century red brick building in 1979 (the same year McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal just to give you an idea of what many Americans were eating). Twenty years later in 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant, which means 95% of all ingredients must be produced by certified organic farmers, growers and suppliers. Thank goodness Nora stuck to her guns; many restaurants don’t even last 20 years.

Nora has received countless awards, too many to list here. But what struck me at the panel discussion where she spoke about Chef-Activism is how she cultivated farmers and helped nurture their businesses by organizing bus tours to introduce DC area chefs to the farmers. In the process she sustained both their businesses and hers by helping ensure the viability of their farms. Nora also initiated DC’s first producer-only farmer’s market, FRESHFARM Markets, which now includes eleven markets in the metropolitan area.

nora-in-market

These days “Farm-To-Table” is a frequent phrase in restaurants around the nation. Sustainability and ethical cooking are top of mind. We all have Nora Pouillon to thank for leading the way. She recently announced plans to pass the torch at Restaurant Nora. Somehow we know there’s an interesting new chapter to be written. If you haven’t read Nora’s full story, check out this book. And listen to our show here:

Categories
Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Connected Table LIVE! Visits with Rick Moonen March 11

Chef, restaurateur  and cookbook author, Rick Moonen, has been the country’s leading advocate for the sustainable seafood movement for the past 25 years, bringing national awareness to this subject near and dear to his heart. In 2013 USA Today named him one of Earth’s “Power Players” as one of five leaders helping the health of our planet.

Chef Rick Moonen
Chef Rick Moonen

He’s been featured on CNN, TODAY, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Dan Rather Reports, and many more.  His flagship restaurant, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, showcase his commitment to sustainability without foregoing culinary creativity and innovation, and have been critically acclaimed by local and national press alike.

In June 2013, Chef Moonen transformed rm upstairs into Rx Boiler Room, a modern gastropub that showcases comfort food, redefined with Moonen’s signature twist. Rx Boiler Room was named Best New Restaurant of 2013 by Desert Companion magazine.