Growing up down in Virginia Beach, with water on two sides of us and small family farms on another, I was surrounded by amazing local food. I remember the annual family trip to the Strawberry Festival out in Pungo, where we would eat our fill of locally-grown strawberries in every form you can imagine, then pick some of our own to take home; those late-summer weekends when we would head over to Grandpa’s house on the Chesapeake Bay to catch fresh crabs for dinner; the Sunday afternoon when we would finally get to cut open the first watermelon of the season, that I had been anxiously watching grow in our backyard garden for weeks. From early on, one thing was always very clear: fresh, local food simply TASTES better. Over the years, my outlook on food has varied. I was vegan for a number of years, and at one point or another, I’ve subscribed to nearly every trendy approach to eating there is. But I have since returned to my roots, and my food philosophy today is overtly simple: GOOD FOOD FROM AROUND HERE.