So Here We Are

Welcome to Beyond the Plate.

What started out as a timid, immaterial idea, has bloomed into the site you now have on your screen. It’s a place to talk about the changing of the seasons, delicious, natural foods, and treating the world as one’s oyster.

It’s also a place, for me, to push the boundaries of food photography and writing to include the journey that our foods take before they end up on our plate. It’s all very well to talk about the sensuous deliciousness of a strawberry jelly donut, but hasn’t it struck you, just once perhaps, to wonder about where the strawberries came from? Who made the jam? The baker that made the donut? The recipes behind the treat? Its traditions and adaptations as it went from baker to baker before finally landing in your palm?

In the past three years of our life in California, these questions have entered my imagination more and more frequently. And this site is my way of addressing those questions, with a difference.

There’s an abundance of literature out there detailing what’s wrong with the food system in the US. GMO-foods, CAFOs, a bastardization of the ‘Organic’ label, the ambiguity over what cage-free, free-range and pastured all actually mean. It’s never-ending, not to mention downright depressing and confusing for those of us who want to eat naturally and healthy, yet simply. That’s where Beyond the Plate comes in.

Here, you’re going to read about what’s going right with the food system, with profiles of local artisans and farmers who are each doing their part to bring delicious, healthy and natural foods to their communities. Every first and third Thursdays of the month, I will feature a food producer’s story – how they came to do what they do, why they’re still at it, what keeps them going – for your reading pleasure. The rest of the time will feature a host of recipes, as seasonally appropriate as possible, but almost always delicious.

After all, with the bad news that seem to be hogging the headlines these days, we all could do with some glimmer of hope somewhere couldn’t we?

Because I’m based in Northern California, most of the people you will read about will come from this region. However, if you’d like to contribute a piece about an unsung hero in your area that you feel is making a difference to the food system, send me a note and let’s chat.

So, have fun poking around, exploring this new site in all its shining, uncluttered CSS glory. Play with the Drawer Sidebar to your heart’s content. Marvel at the seamless functionality of the About section and Contact form above. Snoop around and tell me if there are any broken links I may have overlooked. Above all, don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed before you leave!

See you on Thursday.

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