Announcing our Annual “Local Heroes:” The Cheesemongers, Farmers, Chefs and Activists We Appreciate

A few months back each Edible publication around the country asked their readers to tell them about their favorite local heroes–the farmer who raises the most perfect ruby radishes and pastured pigs; the chef who rocks not just the kitchen but a sense of community; the non-profit that’s changing the way people eat in parts of the borough that need it most; the cheesemonger with a heart of gold and even better Gouda.

Local Hero #3: Murray’s Cheese Shop

A few months back each Edible publication around the country asked their readers to tell them about their favorite local heroes–the farmer who raises the most perfect ruby radishes and pastured pigs; the chef who rocks not just the kitchen but a sense of community; the non-profit that’s changing the way people eat in parts of the borough that need it most; the cheesemonger with a heart of gold and even better Gouda.

You talked to us, and at last, we have the results for Manhattan. We can’t offer these folks much more than our respect and our eternal gratitude–and maybe a listing in the magazine–but we hope you’ll take the time to get to know all of them a little better. To that end, below are the winners of the 2012 Edible Manhattan Local Hero Awards.

1. Farm or Farmer:
Four-way tie:
Northwind Farms, Tivoli, NY
Blue Hill Farm, Great Barrington, MA
Patty Gentry/Early Girl Farm, East Moriches, NY
Guy Jones/Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, NY

2. Chef/Restaurant:
Zakary Pelaccio/Fatty ‘Cue West Village

3. Food Shop:
Tie: Kalustyan’s and Murray’s Cheese Shop

4. Food or Beverage Artisan:
Sacha Jones, bartender, d.b.a Manhattan 

5. Nonprofit:
Slow Food NYC 

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.