In a world of franchised and pre-packaged foods, Chef Gwin Grimes supports the growing trend of local food.
Grimes is helping make it easier for 109 residents to buy locally. In November, she participated in the Good Gift, Green Gift: An Alternative Holiday Bazaar. The bazaar was held at Robert Carr Chapel on the TCU campus, as an outreach by the Cowtown Market and part of the local food initiative.
Cowtown Market is a local farmers market located at 3821 Southwest Boulevard. It is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, no matter what the weather. It is also open June-November on Wednesdays. All foods sold in the Cowtown Farmers Market must be grown within 150 miles of Fort Worth.
In April 2007, Grimes and her husband, Mark, reached out to Cowtown Farmers Market to have their bakery, Artisan Baking Co., become a baker for the market.
Grimes has been involved with the movement to buy local for most of her life. “My parents owned a small business and instilled in me the importance of supporting other small, local businesses,” Grimes said.
When she started her own business five years ago, Grimes said the obvious thing for her to do was to get as many of the ingredients as she could from local farmers and vendors.
Grimes is a classically trained chef, baker, culinary schoolteacher, cookbook author and consultant. She comes from a long line of bakers starting with her great-great grandparents who emigrated from Germany to Alabama. Grimes has written three cookbooks and often teaches cooking classes at the Central Market Cooking School, Culinary School of Fort Worth and volunteers in the Community Kitchens programs at the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
Grimes is a founding member of Foodways Texas and a member of many chef associations such as Bread Bakers Guild of America and Texas Chefs Association.
Grimes has also been involved with starting pop-up restaurants. Pop-up restaurants is a fairly new concept that Grimes says allows talented, upcoming chefs the chance to cook for the public without having to worry about running a whole restaurant.
Grimes started Farm & Fork, which she said is “a creative collaboration between chefs, bakers, a farmer, culinary instructors and a sommelier-in-training.” A sommelier specializes in every aspect of wine. The dinners were started to showcase local food made at the highest culinary expertise levels at various price points available to the public.
Grimes recommended www.localharvest.org to find local sources for food, adding that, “Consumers make choices with every dollar they spend.” Grimes said she hopes to be involved in more opportunities that promote local food on the future.