Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is one such person. A British food writer, chef, TV personality, farm-to-table & snout-to-hoof advocate, sustainable farming educator, and much, much more, Hugh is one incredible fella. He started his food career with a BBC show in which he'd wild forage for food (including road kill), and then cook it up into a delicious repast. He went on to own and operate the River Cottage, a restaurant and food education center that strives towards, according to its website, "less dependence on the outside world, food integrity, and the consumption of local, seasonal produce."
Not content to simply produce great food for their own, and their patron's, consumption, the River Cottage took on a number of food-based campaigns. "Chicken Out!" raised awareness about factory poultry farms, while "Fish Fight" brought attention to over-fishing, seafood waste, and sustainable aquaculture alternatives.
The campaign closest to my heart, though, and the one that endears Hugh to me the most, is "Landshare." Begun in Britain, but now encompassing the entire UK, as well as Australia and Canada, Landshare partners those who own land but aren't using it, with those desiring land but not in possession of it. It's a genius idea, and yet an immensely simple one at the same time. We did something similar out here several years ago, letting a young farmer use our land and (former) greenhouse for a growing season. We're up to the possibility of doing it again, perhaps, sometime in the future.
Because of my admiration (and adoration!) of Hugh, his River Cottage, and everything related to him and his projects, I'm giving away a copy of his and Fizz Carr's (incredible name, right???) River Cottage Family Cookbook this week. While written with cooking with the wee ones in mind, even if you don't have children, this is a fabulous book. It's full of recipes for simple, yet sublime, dishes. They're not dumbed down for children, either, which is one bone of contention I often have with many children's books. It's also chock full of gorgeous photos.
I'll run the giveaway for one week, ending it next Monday, June 20th, at midnight EST. This contest is open only to US residents (sorry international friends!). To enter, leave a comment of your favorite thing to cook or bake with your family (and by "family" I mean your kiddos, mom, granddad, aunt, cousin, what-have-you). I'll randomly select a winner next week and get Hugh's incredible tome (it's a biggun!) out to you.
Even if you don't enter the contest, do check out Hugh and his projects. Although many of them are U.K.-specific, they're packed with inspiration and beauty, all the same.