Against the Fancy

The avant-garde is always evolving, hence the avant part of the term. Where once we were content to canonize the Sundance Film Festival, these days we must turn to Slamdance for our quotient of hipness.

Now an NYC butcher is bringing that antiestablishment stance to the food world. His targets are pretty ripe, too: New York City’s Greenmarket and the Fancy Food Show.

Tom Mylan, speaking with Grub Street, reveals his reasons for organizing the UnFancy Food Show. Bringing together artisan producers of everything from beer to pickles to chocolates, the show will be held on the same date as the Fancy Food Show, June 29. Yes, that’s intended to be inflammatory:

The Fancy Food Show has turned into this joke — it’s mostly commodities stuff that is no different than a barrel of oil. ... It’s a big business — most of the stuff is imported or produced industrially. We’re having people who actually make the stuff in small-production batches, literally by hand.

He doesn’t have very kind words about the culture of preciousness and self-regard that surrounds urban farmers’ markets, either; his next project will be the Blackmarket, an email list that will help artisan producers of items not allowed in the Greenmarket—like moonshine and homemade bitters—connect with customers.

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