For all you organic, local food, seasonal food, farmers market lovers, you need to know the name Nora Poullion. She not only initiated the farmers markets in DC, but she also started the very first certified organic restaurant in the nation, Restaurant Nora.
January marked the 30th anniversary of her restaurant, so obviously she is waaaay ahead of her time. She’s essentially the lesser known Alice Waters. She came to America from Austria when she was 21, and discovered how horrible the agricultural practices were over here. All of the agribusiness, pesticides, hormones, etc. absolutely shocked her (rightfully so).
So when she started her restaurant she knew she wanted it to serve organic food. But it was the 70s, before organic was a known word or even a positive word, she went out in her car searching for organic farms. And although it was extremely difficult, she made it happen! She started the chef-farmer connection and farm to table idea at a time when no one had even considered doing such a thing. She’s a bad-ass in my eyes.
Having worked on a documentary about her for the last few months, I have become a firm believer in what she stands for – the production of food is connected to EVERYTHING: our health, our environment, our well-being. I have also enjoyed learning Nora’s quirks, and think I have her accent down pretty well.
Anyway, the documentary, NORA!, is premiering this Sunday at the Environmental Film Festival. If you’re in DC come check it out at the Carnegie Institute (16th and P) at 6:30pm.
Photo: VideoTakes, Inc