Jason Neve
Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group
Las Vegas, Nev.

Can a flashy restaurant group with a celebrity chef do local and sustainable? Jason Neve, culinary director for all of Mario Batali’s restaurants in Vegas — which include B&B Ristorante, B&B Burger and Beer, Carnevino, Otto — is certainly trying.

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When Neve arrived in Las Vegas in 2006, he found only a handful of local farms that he could look to for supply. In 2008, he helped Batali’s group open the Back to the Farm market, which gave local farmers a venue to sell their produce in the city. “[We] took the responsibility of telling farmers, ‘Hey, come to [our] market, and if you can’t sell stuff, we’re going to buy everything afterwards,’”says Neve. “We were taking product from the farmers market and just finding ways to utilize it in our restaurants while giving those farmers a guarantee.” Six years later, the market is thriving.

Don’t just trust a label — talk to the farmer:

“When you go and actually visit with a farmer face-to-face, and see what they’re doing, and they can explain why they do certain things, then you can trust what they’re doing,” says Neve.

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