Post Date: May 01, 2015
Categories: Essence Restaurant Group
Essence Restaurant Group was created on the foundation of a shared passion for fresh, natural and local food. We work hard to ensure that our food is consciously sourced and supports the community of local farmers and growers. The local food and sustainability movement is something that gets us really excited, which is why the Foodie Film Series at the Downtown Market intrigued us.
At the start of 2015, the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, MI began a new four-month class series called the Foodie Film Series, which opened the discussion of food sourcing and the quality of our food through documentary screenings followed by a panel discussion led by foodie experts in the area. A new film and topic for discussion was scheduled once a month and free to attend. The series wrapped up on April 28 with the screening of the documentary “Ingredients,” which explores the roots and the importance of the local food movement.
The evening began with food and beverage samples of local businesses in Grand Rapids, including juice from Malamiah Juice Bar in the Downtown Market, popcorn from Dorothy and Tony’s Kettle Corn in the market, and hors’ d’oeuvres from The Green Well, Grove and Bistro Bella Vita. After enjoying the delicious food and beverage samples and getting a tour of the greenhouses at the market, guests sat down to enjoy the film. “Ingredients” followed a few different stories of local farmers, growers and chefs in cities including Erie City, OH, Portland, OR and even Harlem, NY. The documentary showcased how the local food movement is more important than ever in today’s world because of our rapidly depleting natural resources and severe health problems due to the rise of obesity. “Ingredients” encourages viewers to truly question the quality of their food, where it comes from and the effect it has on our environment and our people.
A panel discussion followed the film screening. The panelists were all individuals with close ties to local food and sustainability practices in Grand Rapids, including Hanna Schulze of Local First, Anissa Eddie, owner of Malamiah Juice Bar, Lance Kraai ofNew City Urban Farm, Dr. David Koetje, Professor of Biology at Calvin College, and our own Douglas Berg, General Manager of The Green Well. Each of these local experts gave their opinions on the documentary, its relevance to what’s going on in Grand Rapids, and how their job supports the local food and sustainability movement. The discussion was compelling and clearly conveyed the passion each panelist has regarding fresh, natural and local food.