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Local restaurants recognized nationally

WILLSBORO - A growing movement to use locally-produced food in fine-dining establishments has helped create positive publicity for a local restaurant and its suppliers.

Turtle Island Cafe, an award-winning restaurant in Willsboro, was mentioned as a "great restaurant" in the November 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine.

The recognition came as part of an article highlighting some of the most popular artisan food producers of the Adirondacks and the local restaurants that turn their goods into delicious meals. Turtle Island Cafe's owner and chef, David Martin, said he was thrilled to be recognized in the nationally-distributed publication.

Martin credited Westport-based nonprofit Adirondack Harvest with drawing Gourmet's attention to Turtle Island Cafe, one of a handful of local restaurants that makes a point to utilize locally-produced, sustainable foods.

"Their mission is to help local farmers with their connection to the community and local restaurants," Martin explained, noting that Turtle Island Cafe is a member of the organization.

"We're huge believers in a movement, and it's growing stronger," said Martin; "the slow food movement."

The idea, Martin explained, is to get food that's produced on local farms.

"It makes people more aware of where their food comes from, where it is produced; how it gets from the farm or the ocean to your plate," he said.

For Martin, that means buying much of his meat through a regional food cooperative made up of farms and fishermen throughout New England. The restaurant's cheese comes largely from Clover Mead Farm in Keeseville, apples from Peru, and vegetables from Essex and Westport. In all cases, it's grown without the use of synthetic chemicals.

"It makes better food for a lot of reasons," said Martin. "It is grown in the way the spirits and the gods intended it to be grown."

Martin's views are echoed by Nanette Maxim, the author of the Gourmet article. Through a recount of her travels through the area, Maxim persuades readers that they can experience the same rejuvenating experience in both the scenery and food of the Adirondacks.

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