Farmer-Chef Express: Checking Out Local Farm Foods Online

Nov 10, 2014

The Internet has become a popular place for people to buy and sell products and for individuals in search of dates and mates to meet.  Now, a group in Charlottesville has launched a website where chefs can find producers of local farm products.  

If you’re looking for ghost peppers or baby ginger, quail eggs or chicken feet for stock, oyster mushrooms, organic hopes or goat milk ice cream, you’re in luck.  The Piedmont Environmental Council’s Rex Linville says his group has created a website that’s already offering those things and much more to the needy chef.

“He’s got something special on the menu.  He needs a product.  He can now source it locally by quickly combing through this.  It’s a completely searchable database." 

The site, called Farmer-Chef Express, is not just for restaurants, according to Buy Fresh, Buy Local Coordinator Jessica Palmer.

“It’s restaurants, retailers, food banks , canneries, hospitals, schools, large institutions.  Y’know anyone can sign up.  Even some of the local value added producers .  I was talking to Dawn Story with Farmstead Ferments.  She does like krauts and other fermented foods, so she posted that she’s looking for cabbage, and we may find a farmer in the area that’s got an overabundance of cabbage.”

And so far, Palmer says, so good.

“We’ve got 75 businesses signed up on Farmer/Chef express.  We have fifty posts of things for sale.  We’re still working on the buyer side.  I think we’ve had about half a dozen posts of things that people are looking for.”

Customers have come from as far away as Washington, DC to make short-term buys for the daily special or to begin relationships with farmers who can keep them supplied all year long.