In Manchester New Hampshire, when you talk about efforts to incorporate more local foods, most chefs will direct you to Chef Jeffrey Paige of
Cotton Restaurant. When he opened Cotton, using local foods and working with local people who are passionate about their
products became, according to Paige, "a lifestyle choice."
In 1988, Paige began a quest to find out where food really
came from. He became Executive Chef at Canterbury Shaker Village, one of two
remaining active Shaker communities left in the world at the time. There,
working with the last Shaker sisters, all in their 90's, he developed an
appreciation for New England's rich culinary heritage. He developed numerous
relationships with farmers, cheesemakers, gristmills, smokehouses, fishermen,
etc. from all over the New England states. In 1991, with assistance from Gail
McWilliams Jelly, NH Department of Agriculture, he founded the state's first
Farm to Restaurant Connection.