The search for simple food
"I learned about making simple food by working at some of the most exciting restaurants in Philadelphia and New York. Now I’m trying to bring some of that simplicity to a new West Philly grocery store." - Omar Tate, Owner Honeysuckle Provisions
I was 5 years old the first time my mother sent me to the corner store to fetch a loaf of bread.
It was 1991 and a loaf of Stroehmann butter top wheat cost $1.49 cents. I’d only begun school at L.P. Hill Elementary School in Strawberry Mansion that year, but I was a sharp kid who could count. My mother gave me some sound advice that went something like this: “You betta not come back without my change, and count it before you leave the store, too.”
As a chef I learned that simple food is grown in the garden of someone’s grandmother’s provincial home — not sold over the counter at the corner store. How simple is a bag of rice exchanged for gov’ment dollars through bulletproof plexiglass, while blunt cigar-shaped bubble gum the color of Easter vibrates in your peripheral vision?
When I decided to open Honeysuckle Provisions as a grocery store, it was to simplify this exchange. My wife, Cybille Aude-Tate and I wanted to close the distance between simple food, necessity, and desire.