Raiding JJ Gonson’s fridge

By SCOTT KEARNAN  |  November 14, 2012

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Don't let the stroller-pushing yuppies at Whole Foods turn you off. "You don't have to be in the one percent to live a locavore lifestyle," says food activist JJ Gonson, a personal chef with a punk-rock side. (Once a prolific music photographer, she spent years shooting live shows — and hanging with the likes of Kurt Cobain.) Whether she's teaching classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education or running Cuisine en Locale, her home-dining service, Gonson spreads the fresh-and-local gospel. Looking through her home fridge, we found she practhices what she preaches.

A. A locally stocked fridge is subject to what's available in season. But Gonson always has on hand free-range, farm-fresh eggs, the family's main source of protein. She suggests Stillman's Farm, a mainstay of farmers' markets in Copley Square, JP, and Charlestown.

B. She's not just the president — she's also a member. These containers hold delish dinners from ONCE a Week, Cuisine en Locale's shared food program. Its chefs deliver shareholders a variety of prepared meals made with local ingredients each week ($125 feeds a couple four meals).

C. The fridge is filled with gourmet experiments, like these poached pears, that Gonson creates in preparation for her One Night Culinary Events, elaborate themed dinner parties. Next up: the Viking-inspired "ONCE in Valhalla" on January 25.

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D. Stored here is bacon fat, which Gonson uses for sautéing (except when she's cooking for her vegetarian husband). Most pro chefs prefer bacon fat because of how hot it can get, she says.

E. Peapod for locavores? Yes, please. The cheese wedge arrived via Farmers to You, a Vermont-to-Boston delivery service. You can assemble a personalized online shopping cart of dairy products, seasonal produce, meats, and baked goods from participating Green Mountain State farms.

F. These oyster mushrooms from Lunenburg's Parker Farm are for a private dinner. Want your own personal chef for a special occasion? Gonson is in the first crop participating in the upcoming Boston launch of Kitchensurfing. Already active in NYC and Berlin, it helps users hire chefs for dinner parties — or whenever they need a night off from the kitchen.

G. This gorgeous hunk of beef is from one of Gonson's "favorite secrets": Snow Farm in Newfane, Vermont. The small farm sells grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb, delivering shareholders a different cut of the animal quarterly. (You may have had their meats at Oleana and Craigie on Main.)

H. Gonson drinks local too, stocking her fridge with craft beer like Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Nantucket's Cisco Brewers and Descendant Dark Ale from a favorite recent discovery, Mystic Brewery. That Chelsea-based Belgium-style brewery was founded by MIT-trained fermentation scientists, who isolate native New England brewing yeasts for a "beer terroir" approach.

FIND OUT MORE |ABOUT GONSON'S HOME-DINING SERVICE AT CUISINEENLOCALE.COM

>> @THEWRITESTUFFSK

  Topics: Food Features , food, activism, Fridge,  More more >
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