I Heart (to Eat and Drink) NY; Tuthilltown Distillery on Film

For an incredibly tasty melding of food and film, and strong evidence that there is also great pleasure in exploring the landscape that sates us, we offer this beautiful short — as much a mouth-watering teaser for the grain growing, copper distilling, barrel fermenting, and wax cap dipping that goes into Tuthilltown Spirits, as a PSA for heading up the Taconic to scale the Gunks, to visit a Hudson Valley dairy and to generally enjoy the food and drink landscape that enriches our lives.

Which also makes us think about I LOVE NEW YORK, meaning the State’s tourism promotion agency, who we met at Brooklyn Uncorked in May and who has joined us as a partner to take Eat Drink Local week statewide this fall.

Because one of the most compelling reasons for visiting New York (or being here in the first place) are those particularly talented entrepreneurial neighbors that make the food we eat and the stuff we drink. And that’s what Eat Drink Local week is all about–a statewide celebration of those neighbors that runs September 26 to October 6 in collaboration with Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Queens, Edible Hudson Valley, Edible Finger Lakes and Edible Buffalo… and will also include upwards of a quarter million New York eaters over the 10 days.

At Edible we work from the assumption that what we put in our mouths is one of the most effective ways to change the world around us. As the founder of Tuthilltown — who modestly calls himself and his son “just two mooks, smart guys who worked hard, figured out they could do something they had no experience in, and did it” — notes in the film by New York City based Fieldwork, his distillery now employs 10 New Yorkers. That’s not just jobs, that’s the beginning of rebuilding a community base of knowledge about foodways and the starting the economic engine that food and drink entrepreneurship means.

And add to the list of benefits –economic, ecological and otherwise — that when we love what our landscape yields, we are that much more inspired to protect it and support the farmers, fishers and others who work it. So, we are working with I LOVE NEW YORK to expand the offerings of New York wine at state farmers markets and to spread the word that living green in the Empire State has a lot to do with what we eat. And that’s just for starters.

The fall is still a ways off, but the fieldwork has begun. About 30 farmers are nurturing heirloom crops that will be auctioned at Sotheby’s—from Lady Godiva squash to Pink Banana pumpkin. (Tuthilltown will also be poured and auctioned.) Restaurants and other food and drink partners from Manhattan to Montauk, and throughout the state, are signing up to serve special dishes during the week.

There will be a scavenger hunt and a potluck and “ingredients of the day,” all to drive up the market for things like oysters, cheddar cheese, butter beans, wheat beer and other New York grown and made stuff. And Greenmarkets are planning a summer of cooking demos, wine and cocktail tastings, composting and recycling meetups, and the unforgettable Taste of Greenmarket on October 6, that will keep you busy, educated and full.

Sponsors of Eat Drink Local week 2010 include Edible magazines, GrowNYC, I LOVE NY, Sotheby's, New York Botanical Garden, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Empire Merchants, Bonterra Organic Wines, Sterling Organic Wines, Crop Organic Vodka and Farmer's Gin

Sponsors of Eat Drink Local week 2010 include Edible magazines, GrowNYC, I LOVE NY, Sotheby’s, New York Botanical Garden, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Empire Merchants, Bonterra Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, Crop Organic Vodka and Farmer’s Gin

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Brian is the editor at large of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.