Chef Ferrell Alvarez runs into it all the time at his Café Dufrain restaurant on Harbor Island: Customers who don’t know or care how much of their meal is made with local ingredients.
They usually have never heard of Pasture Prime Farm in Summerfield, the source of his restaurant’s pork and beef. They don’t know that the greens come from the Urban Oasis vertical grow farm and Sweetwater Organic Farm in Tampa. Or that the chickens the restaurant uses are raised without the hormones used by large-scale industrial farmers
To educate Tampa Bay-area foodies and the dining public, Alvarez started The Local Dirt, a magazine he hopes to use to spread the gospel of locally grown food.
The free quarterly publication, which has a circulation of 20,000 copies for its inaugural issue, will appear in groceries, health food stores and other shops starting today.
Alvarez shares publishing duties with Ty Rodriguez, general manager of Café Dufrain, and Cathy Hume, co-owner at Urban Oasis. None had prior publishing experience, so they collaborated with Fourthdoor Creative Group, producers of local publications, including Blu, South Tampa Magazine and Vue.