One year ago, many readers of The Valley Table heard for the first time in our Sept-Nov issue the news that the magazine’s founders Janet Crawshaw and Jerry Novesky were stepping down as publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively. After 21 years publishing “the magazine of Hudson Valley farms, food, and cuisine” they had sold the title to Today Media, publishers of Hudson Valley and Westchester Magazine, and publisher Mike Martinelli and I came in with the intention to carry on their mission and to try to fill some mighty big shoes.
Little did we know what lay ahead.
Six months later, a global pandemic was upon us — one that we now realize could change the farm, food, and restaurant world as we know it.
In this issue, senior editor Samantha (Sam) Garbarini interviewed restaurateurs, farmers, and experts and asked them what food, farming, and restaurant culture would look like when the pandemic is over. “One important takeaway is that restaurants, farms, producers, and their employees have, what I like to think of as business co-morbidity factors,” says Sam. “For years they’ve operated on tiny margins, settled for unacceptably small pay, relied on loans, and faced absurdly high operating costs. Those factors have set them up to fail during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, change is going to be essential.”
That being said, we are hopeful that restaurants and farms will fare better in the Hudson Valley than in New York City and other parts of the country. With the uptick in new residents, people are willing to spend to support local businesses, and chefs, owners, and farmers have adapted with incredibly resiliency.
As proof of this can-do spirit, The Valley Table’s Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, the largest and most successful dining event in the region, is back. For two weeks, from November 9–22, you can enjoy prix-fixe menus from more than 100 restaurants, offering indoor and outdoor dining (for those with heat lamps) — and for the first time, takeout.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is a key economic driver in the region, and we do hope you have the resources to play a role in supporting local restaurants, farms, and producers.