Let me first extend my appreciation to Pete DeMola of The Sun and Alvin Reiner of the Press Republican for reporting on our efforts to create a Cuisine Trail in Essex County. Their articles have created significant exposure about our concept and expanded the discussion to every corner of our region. Thank you gentlemen for your collaboration. I also want to thank everyone again who attended our last meeting and to all those who continue to contact us and express interest in this process.
Based on replies to my request for volunteers, we have assembled a list of committee members for organizing and creating the application for our Cuisine Trail. The current members of this committee are:
- Jay White
- Wendy Knight
- Dan Rivera
- Nancy Billuscio
- Josh Bakelaar
- Cynthia Johnson
- Monica McGaughey
- Anita Deming
I will be working with these folks to further define our mission, possible membership and trail routes, and organizational structure. We will also be creating an on-line survey to gather more information related to this project. This survey would have multiple parts and would possibly target potential trail participants, the general public and other identified stakeholders. The more information we solicit, the better informed we will be and a better application we will make to New York State Ag and Markets.
Regional Interest in Cuisine Trails
Additionally, I have received communication from numerous people interested in expanding the idea of an “Essex County” Cuisine Trail to a more regional approach covering multiple counties in the North Country. Hearing about this regional interest is very gratifying and exciting. The concept of “food tourism” promoted throughout the Adirondacks is inspired and should be encouraged.
As I explained at our first meeting, the state has certain criteria for establishing these trails including limiting their length to about 50 miles. However, having discussed this limitation with Ag and Markets, we are encouraged to ask for whatever makes sense for our particular geography. While I do not believe one trail would be acceptable to the state for our entire region, a network of multiple trails that start and end with each other certainly is permissible. If each county, for example, began the establishment of a cuisine trail, we could create a regional “cuisine” identity for sure. For all those interested in starting such a process in another county, I will be more than happy to discuss the particulars with you.
For now, our Essex County Cuisine Trail is off and running! Once the organizing committee has gathered the required information, we will announce another stakeholder meeting in March/April and present our proposed application. I hope to formalize the final application and submit it to the state by the end of May.
Please contact me with any questions, ideas or concerns:
President – Board of Directors
Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County