I have had the pleasure of knowing Emma personally for the past two years. Aside from being a lovely person, Emma is the epitome of a locavore. She is a lover of the Finger Lakes region and all of the wonderful foods it provides. Her website and blog: www.emmafrisch.com celebrates recipes of “food with roots.” Each ingredient tells a story and history of where it came from. Please check it out when looking for your next meal inspiration! In addition to being a chef, caterer and food educator, Emma is also in the midst of creating the culinary experience that will be offered at the new Glamping site at La Tourelle. Make sure to look up Firelight Camps opening this fall!
You may also know Emma as finalist on this season’s Food Network Star on the Food Network. It is such a fun show and if you haven’t watched yet, you must! It is already episode 7 and she is still on! It has been amazing to watch one of our own on TV. The best part is that she continues to promote and tout our area on the show. She even got Bobby Flay to say “Ithaca, NY” when describing a social media video she created on the show. Amazing. Please vote for Emma for fan favorite here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/food-network-star/food-network-star-fan-poll.html.
I had the opportunity to ask Emma a few questions about Greenstar and community and this is what she said:
1. What do you love about Greenstar?
Truthfully? It’s size and organization. When I go shopping I want it to be quick and easy, and I find myself getting overwhelmed in bigger grocery stores. They have their purpose, and I would never dream of shunning them, but having lived outside the country for many years I became used to picking between two choices of soap or cheese – not twenty. Greenstar’s scale is manageable and the selection is thoughtfully curated. I love how the “local” and “basics” labels are clear so that I can instantly find the best quality and most affordable products. I never find myself wandering aimlessly in the aisles looking for help – helpers are just as bountiful as the vegetable display. And then of course there’s the thumbprint cookies …
2. What are you favorite things that you buy at Greenstar?
Easy peasy: bulk items. Greenstar’s bulk section is hands down the best bulk section I have seen anywhere in this country. If you’ve seen a better one, I’ll happily visit to weigh in on the verdict.
I’m a big believer in keeping my pantry powered. If it’s always stocked with the basics, then I can build recipes off just one ingredient (as opposed to hunting down an ingredient list for a specific recipe). For example, if I want to make a honey polenta cake with a blueberry-rosemary syrup, all I need to pick up is the fresh fruit (and I can change the syrup with seasonal fruits).
I have a system for shopping at Greenstar, which is an easy habit to start if you’re not already a bulk buyer. Begin storing your flours, grains, nuts, seeds and other bulk items in jars. Write the jar’s weight – or “tare” – and the bulk item number on a piece of tape and keep it on the lid of the jar. Every time you run out, pop the jar in your shopping bag and refill it at the store. Sure, you’re lugging jars to and forth, but I promise you that it’s quicker than twisty ties, cuts down on waste and ensures your pantry is always powered. It’s hard to remember to do this every single time but it’s ultimately a matter of habit, just like beginning an exercise routine.
And thumbprint cookies…
Oh, and sheep’s milk feta…
3. What does community mean to you?
Community means swapping recipes and cooking tips with the customer next to you while waiting in line to check out. I always try to remind myself that it’s never a good idea to feel rushed when I shop in Ithaca (though I’m certainly guilt of my own mock version of Food Network’s Grocery Games). For me, the beauty of going to the store is running into friends, reconnecting with acquaintances and engaging with strangers. I live for those small, unexpected encounters that happen around food, which is universal to each and every one of us, and offers a gateway to learning something new. Community is a place where one can be open to the wisdom and experiences of those around them, and feel enriched.