Teton Tastemakers

By on July 20, 2016

Digging into the valley’s ripening local food movement.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – This is the year we are all going to stop saying “foodie.” Editor Adam Sachs of food magazine Saveur minced no words when he urged us to “be done with that goofy word, that epithet for tone-deaf epicures.” For him, and a lot of urban-dwelling Americans, the word has come to describe someone with an elitist attitude toward food, fixated on the latest trend, with an annoying habit of snapping social media-worthy photos of everything they eat.

As far as I can tell, being a foodie in Jackson Hole is an entirely different animal. People here are proud to call themselves foodies, and for all the right reasons. Like elsewhere, foodies here are enthusiastic about the pleasures of cooking, eating and drinking. Oh, and we do like to take pictures of our food. But being a foodie here means so much more.


Chase Lockhart of the Lockhart Cattle Company treats his cattle like they’re his children. (Photo: David Stubbs)

Foodies here care about where their food comes from. They care about supporting the people that grow and raise our food. They care that our food is not sucking up too many precious resources, like the food miles accrued by importing it from afar. Foodies here care about how the food choices they make contribute to the health of their families, themselves and the community.

For The Planet’s summer food celebration, I talked with dozens of locals that I would affectionately call foodies. People like hydroponic farmer Sean Stone, who dotes on the growing plants at Vertical Harvest so we can have fresh local greens to eat. Folks like Scott Steen of Slow Food in the Tetons, who wants everyone to get on board with the Zero Waste initiative at the People’s Market. Ranchers like Chase Lockhart, who uphold the highest standards of how animals raised for food should be treated. Chefs like Wes Hamilton, who put an incredible amount of time and energy into reducing food waste, and Chef René Stein, who is so committed to cooking with the seasons, he says only Mother Nature guides his cuisine.

I agree with Sachs that maybe we don’t need a catchall word for people who appreciate a great meal. But around here, being a “foodie” is still a good thing. How you eat is how you live.












About Annie Fenn, MD

After delivering babies and practicing gynecology for 20 years in Jackson, Annie traded her life as a doctor to pursue her other passion: writing about food, health, sustainability and the local food scene. Follow her snippets of mountain life, with recipes, at www.jacksonholefoodie.com and on Instagram @jacksonholefoodie.

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