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Press Release – Locavore of the Year Announced

November 14, 2011

From a Fair Food Matters press release….

Fair Food Matters will name Julie Stanley, owner of Food Dance, the winner of its “Locavore of the Year” Award as part of the Fair Food Food Fair, taking place Saturday, November 19 from 6-9 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

The award recognizes the individual or organization whose efforts in the past year best exemplify support for local food in Southwest Michigan.

Stanley has been in the food industry for more than 30 years, and has owned three restaurants during that time, including Food Dance (401 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo), which opened in 1994. Although she trained formally with a French chef in Wisconsin, she is primarily self-taught as a chef, and is a member of the Chef’s Collaborative, American Cheese Society and the Slow Food Movement.

Long before the resurgence of the “eat local” movement – even before the term “locavore” had been coined – Food Dance distinguished itself as a pioneer in using whole ingredients from local growers and producers. While Stanley admits that finding and using fresh, local fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy and other products is “a bit of an obsession” with her and the Food Dance staff, customers can taste the difference. Food Dance is one of the community’s most consistently popular restaurants, and recently won numerous awards in the Kalamazoo Gazette Reader’s Choice poll, including “Best American Restaurant,” “Best Vegetarian Fare” and “Best Desserts.”

The 2nd Annual Fair Food Food Fair features 13 local chefs competing against one another for the Golden Ladle Award, as chosen by those who attend. The event also includes Michigan-made beer, wine, coffee and cider, plus live music by Micaela Kingslight and Fly Paper, and the debut performance of the Zoo Kats.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door, and are available online ( or by visiting Fair Food Matters (323 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo) during business hours. Proceeds benefit Fair Food Matters.

This event is sponsored by Bronson Hospital, Discover Kalamazoo, Horizen Hydroponics, Imperial Beverage and the Kalamazoo Nature Center/DeLano Farms.

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