by Alice Levitt
For years, diners in the know have looked for a Vermont Fresh Network sign or window sticker to assure them that a restaurant is making a commitment to serving Vermont-grown food.
But VFN executive director Meghan Sheradin realized there were some restaurants that were really raising the bar.
"All Vermont Fresh Network chefs have to know their farmers and serve products from Vermont, but there are some chefs whose commitment to Vermont-grown products is exceptional," she says.
Now, the VFN is introducing a designation to recognize the best of the best.
To qualify as a Gold Barn honoree, restaurants must acheive some pretty lofty locavore standards. Each is required to source ingredients from 15 or more VFN farms. Thirty percent of food purchases must be made from Vermont producers, unless the restaurant spends more than $175,000 on Vermont-grown food annually.
The Gold Barn signs will be made to hang from existing VFN signs. The logo above will make its official debut at the Vermont Fresh Network Annual Forum this Sunday. After that, look for the signs at the following businesses:
3 Squares Cafe
A Vermont Table-Catering by Terri Ziter
American Flatbread at Lareau Farm
Basin Harbor Club
City Market / Onion River Coop
Cloud 9 Caterers
Common Man Restaurant
Craftsbury Outdoor Center
El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina
Essex Resort and Spa
Farmhouse Tap & Grill
Fletcher Allen Health Care Nutrition Services
Guild & Company
Healthy Living Market and Cafe
Hen of the Wood
Inn at Shelburne Farms
Inn at the Round Barn Farm/Cooking from the Heart
Inn at Weathersfield
JDC's Just Delicious Catering
The Kitchen at The Store
Kitchen Table Bistro
Let's Pretend Catering
Magnolia Breakfast & Lunch Bistro
Michael's on the Hill
Middlebury College Dining Service
Natural Provisions Market & Deli
Readmore Bed & Breakfast
The Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant
SoLo Farm and Table
Stowe Mountain Lodge-Solstice Restaurant
Trapp Family Lodge
University of Vermont-Sodexo Campus Services
Windham Hill Inn
Woodstock Farmers' Market