But for other chefs, Utopia doesn't look like New York. It's a smaller, more affordable city with its own vibrant food culture — like Austin, Texas, Madison, Wis., or Chapel Hill, N.C. Those places have the added advantage of being more connected to the farms they buy from — something that is a badge of honor in today's restaurant world.
As Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant based in New York and Sonoma County, Calif., puts it: "I used to say, 'If it grows in Manhattan, scrape it off. Alright?' "
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