Thursday April 25, 2013

ESSEX -- To say that food is important is beyond an understatement; it’s practically a platitude. Besides the vital relation every living being has to sustenance, food is trendy, food is art, food is commerce, and according to author and Vermont foodie Tracey Medeiros, eating local is essential.

"You’re putting money back into the economy and letting these farmers stay on the land," Medeiros said.

Medeiros’ follow-up to her critically-acclaimed Vermont cookbook, "Dishing Up Vermont," goes on sale May 6, at bookstores across the state and the country.

"I noticed the farms, chefs and food producers were very enthusiastic with my column, and I felt there was a need for a second book," Medeiros, who writes food columns for various publications, said.

"The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook" contains over 150 Vermont-centric recipes by Vermont farmers, chefs, and food producers.

"I asked each farmer, each chef, and each food producer to contribute a recipe that best showcases their talent or what they grow on their farm," she said. "I really wanted them to submit to me recipes that best reflected them Š I think they’re truly Vermont recipes because it’s from the folks of Vermont."

"The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook," has 107 different contributors, only two of which appeared in "Dishing Up Vermont."

"I’m very fortunate that again these hardworking folks have supported my projects," Medeiros, who moved to Vermont nine years ago, said. "Even though I’m the author Š it’s their book, it’s a community book."

Medeiros designed the book to be both challenging and accessible for everyone.

"I wanted the book to be for amateur and expert cooks, I wanted it to be for vegetarians and meat eaters," she said.

There are other thematic changes to this book, including an expanded section on fish and local distilleries.

"I focused on farmer’s markets," Medeiros said. "I also added distilleries and a larger selection of fish dishes Š A lot of chefs are doing interesting things with local ingredients and fish."

The book contains profiles on the different contributors as well.

"I felt it was very important to put a face on these hardworking people," Medeiros said. "By putting in profiles and telling their stories it would help to show how passionate they are Š they’re so concerned with the community."

"The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook" and "Dishing Up Vermont," which sold over 30,000 copies, also allow readers to look up information about the contributors and their businesses.

"It’s not only a cookbook it’s also really great food directory as well," Medeiros said. My books are a great marketing vehicle for getting the word out there not just in Vermont but nationally."

Ten percent of Medeiros’ royalty checks will go to benefit the Vermont Food Bank, as well as $500 from her advance.

"(It’s) so they can continue to do the amazing work that they do," she said.

Part of the proceeds from "Dishing Up Vermont" went to the Vermont Food Network.

The Launch

On Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. Carpenter and Main will host "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook" dinner and launch event. The four-course dinner comes with a copy of the book signed by the author. The event is open to the public, tickets are $65 for singles and $110 for couples and cover taxes and tip. Reservations must be made in advance by contacting the Norwich Bookstore at 802-649-1114.

Upcoming signings nearby

May 18 at 2 p.m. J.K. Adams Co., Dorset

June 19 at 12:30 p.m. and July 19 at 5:30 p.m. Cooking demonstration and signing at Edible Green Mountain’s Kitchen at Brook Valley Appliance