A Local Food Experience, In More Ways Than One 3

Locally sourced food is a great option for consumers that are looking for a fresh and clean taste. According to an article entitled “7 Benefits of Eating Local Foods”, by Rita Klavinski of MSU Extension, locally sourced items can have more nutrients because the time between harvest and consumption is much less than food that is shipped. Klavinski says in her article that locally grown foods can have more flavor because the harvest is taken as soon as it is ready as opposed to products sitting and waiting to be shipped. That process can potentially cause a loss of flavor in the food. Local food sourcing also supports local farms. Ali Gensert, Marketing Director for 4Top Hospitality who works with local restaurants Amerigo Italian Restaurant, Etch and Etc. says “By using local farmers and purveyors, we’re keeping the transaction local-everything from sourcing the products, supporting local farmers’ craft and the logistics of obtaining the ingredients.”

Located less than 30 minutes from Hendersonville, Amerigo Italian Restaurant at 1920 West End Avenue in Nashville has a large selection of fine Italian cuisine.  Gensert says that several of their menu items use locally sourced ingredients. “We are sponsors of the Franklin Farmer’s Market, so the partnership is a perfect fit for us featuring local products.” She shared a few items that they receive from local sources. “Chef Steven Robilio has a seasonal menu that features products from Noble Springs Dairy, Bear Creek Farm, Coffey Family Farm and Provence Bakery.” Gensert shared that Chef Steven hosts monthly Farm Dinners with menu variations that feature local products. She says that the chef chooses seasonal items from the Franklin Farmer’s Market quite regularly, which are then used in features and farm dinners.

Amerigo has another Middle Tennessee location located near Cool Springs at 1656 Westgate Circle, Brentwood. It also has two sister restaurants in the Nashville area. Etch is located at 303 Demonbreun Street in Nashville. According to Gensert, Etch does use a few local products for things like veggies, burgers, honey, sorghum and mushrooms. The other restaurant, Etc. is located in Green Hills at 3790 Bedford Avenue. Etc. was opened this past summer by Deb Paquette who is also the chef and owner of Etch. While both Etc. and Etch use local ingredients, Amerigo is more involved with local sourcing.

Gensert says, “We’ve built relationships with many farmers over the years and love collaborating with them to feature their products.”