THE BEGINNING IS ALWAYS TODAY
No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.
I saw that quote on the PATH train earlier this year. I was head-down against the wind, wrapped and bundled against the wrath of the season. I found myself suddenly grateful, and extraordinarily so, to the anonymous NJ Transit marketing person who shared with us, weary riders all, a bit of hope. Spring just didn’t seem possible.
In fact, in early March, when spring should seem possible, and when a sunny Alice Waters arrived at William Paterson University to share her California dream for a slow-food nation, New Jersey was not so welcoming. We offered Waters a blizzard, with more blizzards to come.
Edible Jersey did have some sunny news this winter—writer Jenn Hall won a prestigious award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for her impressive package of stories on Oysters (High Summer 2017). It was Edible Jersey’s first IACP award, and Hall was in good company. Other New Jersey winners included Maricel Presilla and Nathan Myhrvold.
It’s the season for change.
One of our favorite farmers, Helen Chandler, has said goodbye to the state; New Jersey is just too expensive. Her poignant story is on page 20.
How can we support Chandler and other young farmers? Will we remain the Garden State? Reporter Jenn Hall gives us an overview (page 47) of the complex federal Farm Bill, which expires this year. And Chef Tom Colicchio, in an exclusive interview, shares his vision for a hunger-free America (page 56). The Farm Bill could make that possible, Colicchio says, if we only had the will to do so.
The news from Newark is also about change. Yes, Marcus Samuelsson has opened a restaurant, but what about the bigger picture? We all know that food entrepreneurs are among the first to spot potential—witness Brooklyn and Detroit. Is it happening in Newark?
Our coverage of Newark begins on page 26. We’ve dedicated 19 pages to the Brick City, and set out to paint a more complete culinary picture, to tell the stories of those who kept the faith and of those who just discovered Newark. While knowing that the city has far more stories to tell. (Future stories, including a burger update, have already been assigned.) What we’ve witnessed is this: The momentum is real.
Funny thing about momentum. And the month of May. The perfume of cherry blossoms and the new warmth of the sun are mighty balms against the bitterness of the season that preceded.