food lives in Houston
Chef Monica Pope has begun a revolution here in Houston. After living abroad and experiencing a culture where food is prepared only from ingredients harvested and purchased that same day, she returned to her hometown determined to do the same thing.
"It's a year-round growing climate," she said. "The only difficulty we have is in the heat of July and August." In the past decade she's struck up relationships with local farmers and producers and not only purchases their foods for her restaurants, but has established a twice weekly farmer's market in the parking lot of her T'afia (www.tafia.com)
"Eat where your food lives" is her mantra.
She believes that diabetics, celiacs, those with lactose intolerance an other health issues should be able to eat delicious food and has developed some wonderful alternatives for them. In her Plum Easy Kitchens,she makes and freezes rolls of dough that can be sliced into crackers and scones along with dozens of other things for people who want to take her food home. She uses ingredients purchased from the farmers in the market. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
People who come taste their way around the market, with growers stationed outdoors and cheesemakers, bakers and even an artisanal gelato maker set up indoors. One of them is Jackie Burdisso, who was raised in France to a long line of pastry chefs, and makes the jewel-like macarons that looked and tasted just like those I last tasted in Paris.