For nearly four years, Our Local Commons has been sharing stories from the Charlottesville local food community — both here on the blog and in the pages of our books. This year, we had the opportunity to expand our reach to the entire commonwealth of Virginia through a brand new project, The Virginia Table, which hits shelves at the end of October.
Our partner in this project was Early Mountain Vineyards, which approached us early in the year with the idea, seeded by vineyard owner Jean Case, to create a book showcasing the work of food artisans across the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. The book was an extension of Early Mountain’s “Best of Virginia” program — a collection of the finest wines from across the state, which Early Mountain carries at its tasting room in Madison alongside its own meticulously crafted wines in an effort to help familiarize its visitors with Virginia’s incredible wine offerings.
From the moment they asked us if we were interested in partnering on such a project, our hearts sang with a resounding YES. Over the past four years, we have found our voice and aesthetic as a collaborative team, and feel very fortunate to be able to use that voice to illuminate the hard work and dedication of those who grow, craft, and prepare food. The opportunity to work collaboratively with Early Mountain to expand the reach of those stories to other areas of Virginia was absolutely thrilling. And so, as is our habit, we dove in.
And that is how we spent the months of July and August driving all over this beautiful state, from Concord, Lexington and Lowesville; to Charlottesville and Harrisonburg; to Lovettsville, Marshall, and Middleburg; to McLean and Alexandria and many, many places in between. We made new friends, met up with familiar faces, and got lost in conversation again and again, learning about the craft of each of these individuals. They work in many different industries, but all have one trait in common: a tireless dedication to creating the finest food for their fellow Virginians.
Over the past four years, we have found our voice and aesthetic as a collaborative team, and feel very fortunate to be able to use that voice to illuminate the hard work and dedication of those who grow, craft, and prepare food.