Food fad: restaurants buying local, fresh products

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- There's nothing better to a foodie than freshness plus flavor. And many Valley restaurants are achieving that by buying local. It's one of the latest food fads to sweep the nation, and Valley diners are eating it up.

Foodies like Laura Camarillo and Sally Cowan chose The House Brasserie for good, fresh salads, like the Brussels sprouts salad.

"I absolutely notice the difference between farm fresh and the quality they use," says Laura.

Executive chef Matt Carter attributes that to buying local, and he gave us some examples. "This is a local honey from Bob, which he produces, and it's excellent," he explains.

The House Brasserie, Zinc Bistro and The Mission are all restaurants part of a growing trend in dining: use as many home-grown products as possible, especially produce.

"You can really tell the difference between a tomato that sat on a truck for five days or in a refrigerator for a month, as opposed to something that was picked and served that day," says Carter.

And although  there are many benefits to buying local, there are challenges as well, like Arizona's sizzling summers. "Our season, when it's 110 for over a month, the crops don't do so well," says Carter.