Posted April 8th 2011 at 2:07 pm by
in Food Economy Portraits, Photo Journals

Farmers Market Breakfast

JennPurkey_Small Jenn Purkey, the head chef at the General Denver Hotel in Wilmington, Ohio, stands in the kitchen of the historic restaurant and pub. Purkey and her staff have worked to make the restaurant a fixture of the local dining scene, in part by sourcing her ingredients from local farmers and food producers whenever possible.

“I buy local, first, to have the freshest ingredients possible,” Purkey said. “But I also want to support the local farmers. It makes us feel like a part of the community.” The chef started visiting the Clinton County Farmers Market every Saturday morning when it relocated to the parking lot directly behind the hotel. Those visits led to Purkey’s popular “Farmers Market breakfast,” which she cooks using the food she buys at the market that day. “The farmers give me a lot of new ideas when I shop there. It’s a win-win for us.”

Post and photo by John Cropper of Wilmington, Ohio.

Agriculture remains the biggest contributor to the regional economy in Clinton County, Ohio. This series highlights actors in the county’s local food economy, from farmers and restaurant owners to community gardeners and food pantry directors.

The photographer, John Cropper, is a Clinton County native, a journalist at the Wilmington News Journal and a fledgling gardener. He came to CoLab Radio via Energize Clinton County, which “grew out of a citizen movement to broaden participation in economic development, and regain control of our local economy.”

2 responses to “Farmers Market Breakfast”

  1. dorothy bloom says:

    The idea of the restaurant being used as a distribution point for food ideas seems just excellent to me. Here in Oneonta, NY we have a restaurant on the edge of our Farmer’s market which serves their time-worn specialties at all times, and meandering through the crowd at the market are a few ambitious entrepreneurs who are doing their best passing around as few trays of samples. How great for a restaurant to be able to consolidate those people, and their information, in a special Saturday opening that is devoted to providing a venue for the totality of the foods there and their relationships in local eating patterns.

  2. Alexa Mills says:

    I love the look on Ms. Pukey’s face. I love her confidence. The photo and your essay, and the comment from Oneonta (which is my grandma’s) — despite our outward appearance, maybe most of us Americans want more than Target and IHOP. Who wouldn’t want a breakfast that changes with the local food supply?