Chef Sam’s Story
Hi, welcome, and thank you for your interest in us and what we’re doing. My name is Sam Diminich, and I am the surprised and grateful founder of Your Farms Your Table!
Here’s what happened and why I’m surprised: I was the Executive Chef at Upstream at Phillips Place having the time of my life in a great restaurant. In January, I beat Bobby Flay at his own game in his own kitchen on The Food Network. Things were going about as good as they get.
Then, in March 2020, I was one of 11 million food and beverage professionals who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. It happened so suddenly. I scrambled to understand what was happening in restaurants and hospitality and get direction on what to do next.
Chefs and their suppliers are a tight knit community; we’re friends. With every restaurant closing indefinitely, one of my initial concerns was for the local farming communities.
How would they be able to survive this crisis and get to the other side? I wondered what our community would look like post-COVID-19 without a farmer’s market full of vendors. I wondered about the families on these farms. What adaptations would they have to make to survive? I wondered if our community would be left without locally sourced goods, and how would that affect us and the next generation?
What I know is I wanted to cook. I wanted to support the local community of farmers and patrons, and I wanted to know and tell more about the story behind the food. I wanted an opportunity to create a community-wide narrative about the food we eat and the people who provide it. I wanted to go to the farms, to purchase from them directly, learn more about their personal stories, cook the freshest food, but cook for my community and keep the farmers and suppliers in our conversation.
We’ve all had to pivot. We’ve had to adapt to find a way to be positive. Food has always been a unifying element in our lives; an opportunity to step away from life’s distractions and embrace togetherness. This was my pivot. Supporting our local suppliers, supporting our local community, and telling the stories behind the food so that – in my own small way – I’m helping and hoping those stories and the food continue to nourish our lives.
That’s how Your Farms Your Table was born, and I am surprised, thrilled, grateful, and truly humbled by the support of all you paying customers and countless other supporters along the way.
Until next time,
Eat Well • Do Well • Be Well
Founder & Executive Chef
Your Farms Your Table, LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
United States of America