The First All-Chefs Viand, November 2006

The Viand is a small-plates slow food feast. All of the food comes from local farmers markets and artisan producers and everything we serve is hand-made. Our goal is that our guests will want have such high quality food in their own homes. We see it as part of the process of re-learning cooking and community and we see it as a part of one of the major (and successful) social movements of our time, which is changing the food system, supporting small farmers and increasing pleasure and health of food.

we align ourselves with the movements for sustainable cuisine, slow food, and food sovereignty.

the events take place in private homes, making us an underground restaurant.

in order to share our perspectives and skills, viand chefs also give cooking classes, kitchen advice, and accompaniment in farmers market shopping

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How do we expand the energy of the local movement into further transformations of our culture and economy?

The Viand is not a potluck, and this is not a recipe blog. The Viand is a food happening. It’s about farmers and community and an elegant restaurant where the guests help cook.  It’s about how we build community around our values, not by having meetings, but by designing celebrations, reveling in the world we want and inviting people in.

Local Food is a social movement now, which understands food as community, rather than commodity. Local food has effectively sidestepped the cooptation of organic by developing an alternative to symbolic certification. People want to know their farmer, and not just to reassure them about ecological practices, but to complete a circle of social relations around the production and consumption of food. CSAs and community gardens have waiting lists, the organic market is plenty profitable, and grocery stores are being pressured to sell local products. But now that we’ve got local food, what do we do with it?

Our food project, The Viand, began at a birthday party in November 2005 and became a community institution that celebrates the quality of seasonal and hand-made food, promotes local farmers and artisans, demonstrates simple cooking, and creates community around these ideas and yearnings. Now seven years later, we have hosted 26 Viands in three countries. You can read more about our history.

We’ve even written a book and a host’s kit!

This website contains the menus from all the viands, as well as photos and debriefs. It also includes the markets where we shop, artisanal producers whose products we love, restaurants that inspire us, the gear that makes our kitchen such a luscious place to cook, our favorite recipes, and blogposts.

You can click on a city in the tags at the bottom of the page to find our favorite foods there.

The website also includes ideas about food — those of other underground restaurateurs, relevant news about slow and sustainable cuisine, concepts that are important to us, and our own developing thoughts about food.

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