Young Food Entrepreneurs Make Their Future By Hand

Young, college-educated, Internet-savvy, unemployed and hoping to find a place in the food world outside the traditional route, Fabiana Lee, is typical of the city’s dozens of new food entrepreneurs.

The New York Times reports that as the next generation of cooks comes of age, it seems that many might bypass restaurant kitchens altogether. Instead, they see themselves driving trucks full of artisanal cheese around the country, founding organic breweries, bartering vegan pâtés for grass-fed local beef, or (most often) making it big in baking as the next Magnolia Bakery.

Aspiring cooks (and the adventurous eaters who love them) come face to face at markets like this one, which are opening and expanding at a brisk pace.

The Brooklyn Flea, the Hester Street Fair and the soon-to-reopen New Amsterdam Market have become tasting destinations, where handmade food is as much of a fetish as vintage Ray-Bans or bargello pillowcases.

The all-food Greenpoint market, which is open to home cooks of all stripes, is one-stop shopping: Mexican-Indian tacos, artisanal soda pop, roof-grown produce, exotic chili peppers, long-brined pickles, Taiwanese street food and retro-Southern snacks under one roof.

Each vendor had paid $25 to $50 for a table, with half the money going to the church and half to Ms. Kim. The cash they earned was theirs to keep. At $4 an ice pop or $3 an empanada, the margins on many products seemed high, but some of the vendors who have been operating without official certification may soon see their profits shrink.

Photo by The New York Times.

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