Last week, we noted with pleasure that The New York Times took a 1,500-word-plus look at Slows Bar-B-Q and its most famous owner, Phillip Cooley. It was a pretty good article that also gave some ink to some other local worthies too. And while many folks in the Detroit food scene loved to see the coverage, some had hoped the national media would spill more ink on all the other cool-as-hell food startups around town.
Well, wait no more. It's all laid out in a piece posted at the Atlantic Monthly's online food section, "When Detroit Says 'Eat Local,' It Really Means It". The article, written by New York-based writer Tracie McMillan (a former Metro Times intern, no less!), views Detroit's food scene via this month's Home Slice fundraiser, thrown in Eastern Market by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. As McMillan points out, local food in Detroit is often measured not in miles, "but in city blocks," given such inventive local food producers as Brother Nature, an urban lettuce farm growing greens for almost a dozen local restaurants. And these new producers are even willing to teach people how to do it themselves, as with Suddenly Sauer, which sells hand-pickled products and offers classes for new converts too.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the eclectic brand of synergy McMillan describes permeating Detroit's food scene, where city farmers, urban foragers and community organizers rub shoulders with big-city chefs and local gourmets. The article pulls together such a diverse crop of foodsters, ranging from the DIY canners of Detroit Zymology Guild to high-end restaurants Roast and Atlas Global Bistro, and gives a sense of the more-the-merrier headiness of a gourmet underground that's bubbling to the surface here in town.
Plus, telegraphing McMillan's points visually is an impressive slide show of photographs snapped by MT contributing photographer Marvin Shaouni, whose images not only showcase the embarrassment of riches at MOCAD's fundraiser, but also capture the warmth of people sharing food together. Good job, guys!