For those of you using local food, how do you market?
Do you write specific menus, if not how do you word it?
Have you been burned by a "special vegetable" not being available?
Well, that is a very good question
I learned very quickly to not get"burned|" . Having a good network of suppliers is key. Don't rely on one guy. In a pinch you call suppliers you don't usually order from. It may be a little more expensive but ya got to get your supplies ..am I right?
And when they ask you to take some produce,seafood., .....whatever off their hands in a pinch .... you do ...It's called good business
For wording on menus it's as simple as day and night ....put your local suppliers in their like poetry.
I agree with gypsy. I have encountered that situation, that is why I do have a lot of contact for suppliers. Just in case one runs out of stocks, I have a lot of alternative. Sometimes it may hurt your budget but, the most important thing is that your business is still running smooth with no problem in menus.
Don't do cooking anymore (professionaly, that is...), but I now do artisan chocolates and pastries.
Fr'instance, when I buy local hazelnuts,, I'll process them (roast and then pan (coat) in chocolate) and sell as such. When I'm out, I'm out, and if I can secure more, I'll do more.
Now is blueberry season, so this month we'll be going to the U-picks and getting ours. Some I'll freeze, and some I'll turn into jam. Bragging rights on the jars, and when I'm out, I'm out.
Froze and candied a bunch of local cherries last week, probably do up more jars of cherry jam this week as the price (and size) has come down.
When I'm out, I'm out and I'll have to wait untill next year........
Farmer Market Vegetable Platter, whatever looks good at the market......it will vary from season, and at times has an outside addition (greenbeans....or potatoes typically)
*we are in partnership with mother nature and if something is not available we reserve the right to serve a comparable item.
I've even gotten into the lack of pumpkins in STL area circa 2001, because a watermelon blight wiped out the crop.
**Years ago I put an heirloom tomato salad on a wedding menu, mid-June.....Burned me bad....tomatoes were not in and I spent $$$$ for heirlooms at Wholefoods.