3.10.2009

EcoFriendly Foods And The Bev Effect

"One chicken, two Bevs," yelled a cook at Momofuku, as I sat devouring my own "Bev" at the noodle bar on a snowy Manhattan day a few weeks back.

The dish I was hunkered over — Momofuku's divine pork belly ramen — is (parenthetically) named after Bev Eggleston, the convivial face of Virginia-based EcoFriendly Foods. His company is the source of the tender and deliciously fatty roll of pork belly that was perched in my ramen.

But Momofuku is just one of a growing number of restaurants touting EcoFriendly's pork on their menus.

When I chatted with Eggleston last year at his stand at the Dupont FreshFarm Market, I mentioned I'd eaten "Bev's sausage breakfast" at Café Saint-Ex just that morning. He marveled that chefs like Fabio Trabocchi at the now-shuttered Fiamma and David Chang at Momofuku were giving him shout-outs by name on their menus — a flattering if unexpected result of his tireless push to spread the gospel of pastured meats up the eastern seaboard. He even scored a glowing nod in a New York Times restaurant review.

EcoFriendly has made it possible for small family farms that are humanely raising pasture-fed animals to get their products into the hands of both consumers and chefs. And the quality of those products, including meat from their heritage breed pigs, has fed the buzz around Eggleston and EcoFriendly. Eggleston gets some nice ink in the recent WSJ magazine, which by the way includes some wonderfully gratuitous pork fat photos (is that a lardo cake on the second page?!) and a slideshow.

Lucky for us Washingtonians, you can find EcoFriendly's products year-round at the Arlington Farmers Market and the Dupont FreshFarm Market. For the lengthy list of DC-area restaurants featuring their products, check out the lefthand column of EcoFriendly's site.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amanda ~~ Another delicious post ~~ Nyc

rachete said...

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Dskco said...

I think that's so awesome that EcoFriendly is getting recognized in nice restaurants and gaining recognition for doing a good thing.
Thanks for informing us!

Amanda said...

They're great people and doing such great work so it is really great that the buzz is spreading so much. Glad you liked the post!

Lee said...

Bev is a rock star in my world. And his pork is good too! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a noble person Bev Eggleston seems to be! Alas, this post needs a reality check.

First, Bev doesn't raise all his own animals -- he buys most of them from other suppliers -- and he hires cheap Mexican laborers to do most of the work at his processing facility. So he's not really a farmer, he's a middleman. Worse, he doesn't pay his suppliers with any regularity -- as one of them, I should know. In other words, he gets the profits and glory (from media attention like your blog), while us farmers who do the real work get a minimum cut only after months and months of pestering him. Many farmers I know have stopped dealing with him in disgust.

He's either an utterly incompetent businessman or a self-aggrandizing charlatan, I can't decide which. I do know he's an expert at one thing: marketing. He's a great talker, but, as they say, actions speak louder than words.

There are plenty of other farms in the DC area that sell quality local meats: just check out localharvest.org or similar sites. Finding another supplier would give you the quality you like without the ethical downsides of dealing with a fraud like Bev.