John Tucker’s restaurant Rosewater is in Park Slope Brooklyn.
How are you able to keep your menu sustainable?
It is a big project. I am not sure people understand how much effort goes into sourcing as much product as possible to sustainable sources. Fortunately, there are a lot of companies out there who are middlemen to people like me, restaurant owners, and those middlemen help us a lot. They are good, reputable people who have the same values as we do. We also have direct relationships with farmers, orchardists, fish mongers – and those relationships take time and effort. Our chef puts a tremendous amount of time and effort in cultivating these relationships and talking to the people we work with about where the food comes from and how it is grown, raised, or caught.
Why is sourcing your food locally and sustainably important to you?
This [eating seasonally and locally] was was introduced to me while working at Savoy in 1994. To have a blueberry in January probably isn’t a good experience; They are probably from deep South America, probably not very good, probably very expensive, and probably required a lot of jet fuel to get here. I would much rather have a blueberry from Maine in season because it travels far less to get here, will be more ripe, and far more delicious. From seasonality comes sustainability. Eating seasonally means you can eat something at its peak ripeness at its peak freshness. That is something that didn’t come from very far away. As we start to understand the implications of global warming and the use of petroleum products in pesticides herbicides and beef production – we also understand that there are so many things we can do to make a greener place by making choices around where our food comes from.