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Jeremy Barlow
Age: 37
Chef/owner, tayst
Nashville, Tenn.

Having grown up on the isolated island community of Nantucket, Jeremy Barlow was raised among farmers who contributed to the local restaurant kitchens years before the sustainable dining movement. But Barlow, a former self-described, fast-food addict, has changed ways and joined the farm-to-table sustainable dining movement. In February 2004, he opened his own restaurant, tayst, which was certified as a "green restaurant" last year and serves -- as Barlow describes -- playful American

"We do food you're familiar with, like sausage and gravy, which is a Southern dish," Barlow says. "We have a tostada on the menu that's fancy and fun. We try to twist it around and make it playful and present in a way that you're totally not expecting it."

Barlow soon found the best way to find the cheapest and freshest ingredients was to turn to nearby farmers. "As my passion for cooking evolved, I made the connection between getting good product and buying local, and what that does for the environment," he says. "It's about the importance of keeping farmland around within a region in order to support a community. Without farmers you have no community."


Last updated December 02 2009: 5:47 PM ET
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