Richmond got more national recognition for chefs and restaurants than ever last year. Media outlets seemingly love this city, which received coverage in Garden and Gun, Southern Living, GQ, and the New York Times, and on the Travel Channel and the Food Network. Here are a few ways to show some love of your own in 2013:
1. Go local. Support your tiny sandwich eateries and pizza parlors. While the Olive Garden, Subway and Pizza Hut are all choices you could make, Little Venice, Garnett's and Belmont Pizzeria are locally owned — and these owners are known to give back to their community.
2. Speak up. Constructive criticism is how everyone learns. If your meal or drink isn't right, say something. By and large, Richmond chefs and restaurateurs are hyper-concerned with your feedback and the end result is mutually beneficial.
3. Look up the Southern Foodways Alliance. The alliance comes here in June, bringing the Summer Foodways Symposium. This is a big deal. Names you only read about and faces you usually see only on television will be here eating Richmond's fabulous food. Learn more at southernfoodways.org. John T. Edge will thank you.
4. Try a new beer. Richmond is teeming with knowledge on brewing and taste. Hit Saison to talk with Chris Elford, a certified cicerone, about a brew he loves. Head over to richmondbizsense.com to see what the Beer Guy, Lee Graves, is spouting about local lagers, ales and stouts.
5. Find a new signature drink. Stop in Rappahannock to see what Katie Nelson does with licorice branches, gin and juniper berries. Get to know Beth at Pasture to watch the making of coffee-pecan bitters or homemade ginger beer. Visit T. Leggett's bar at the Roosevelt to learn why he loves whiskey.
6. Keep reading local. Kendra Bailey Morris, theaccidentalchef.com, has a new cookbook rolling out in August that's sitting in the top 30 on Amazon.com. Get a slow cooker now. Experience lunch with the two dudes from 52lunches.com. They find a new Richmond place to grub up every week and are about to hit the 100 mark.