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Eating Local With Vegan Chef Jimmy Cooney

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Eating Local With Vegan Chef Jimmy Cooney Blog Feature

By: EYA Pugrant on July 15th, 2011

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Yesterday, as part of Eat Local First week, we attended one of the many planned events that sought to educate and inspire individuals to strive to use locally grown food in their daily lives. Eat Local First week is sponsored by Think Local First DC, a non-profit that partners with independent organizations to foster a “sustainable local economy” in the DC area. With DC’s strategic location surrounded by farm country in the rural Chesapeake region, farmer's markets are plentiful throughout the metropolitan area (see FreshFarm Markets to find a list of markets close to you and recipes) and this week of awareness seeks to educate individuals on how they can easily incorporate these local resources into their everyday lives.

We stopped by the farmer's market by the White House yesterday to watch a live vegan food demonstration using local ingredients by vegan chef Jimmy Cooney. Jimmy Cooney, a multi-talented vegan chef and video producer, is affiliated with Java Green and Café Green, two notable local vegan-inspired restaurants. At the demonstration, Cooney made an Ethiopian-inspired dish of stuffed peppers, featuring the Ethiopian staple Seneg Karya. Seneg Karya is a chilled jalapeno filled with a salsa of tomatoes, tomatillos, and onion, which was then placed inside a green bell pepper stuffed with hominy, basil, onion, garlic, and tomato, and baked for 30 minutes. In his demonstration, Cooney expressed that it often takes time to learn how to work with the vegetables you find it farmer's markets, such a squash. We suggest asking the vendors at the farmer's market that you buy from if they have any recipes that they recommend you use their produce in - they often keep a handout of recipes with them or provide resources on their websites.

While Eat Local First week is almost at its end, there are still a few events that you can make it to tonight and tomorrow (they are really neat!). For more details, check out Eat Local First’s event page.