And The Local Hero Award Goes To…

The Local Hero Awards echo and reaffirm our mission to celebrate the culinary bounty, heritage and diversity of Long Island. We asked you to vote and vote you did. So, without further ado, we present the 2015 Local Hero Awards to the following local heroes.

Farm/Farmer

Orkestai Farm in Oyster Bay

Orkestai Farm in Oyster Bay

Orkestai Farm. This nonprofit one-acre farm is within Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay. A working farm and CSA, Orkestai explores the relationships between ability, agriculture and art. In its inaugural year, Orkestai Farm taught the valuable lessons of farming to 15 neurodiverse and disabled students.

Chef/Restaurant

Simons Center Cafe at Stony Brook University

Simons Center Cafe at Stony Brook University

The Simons Center Cafe. Located on the campus of Stony Brook University, the Simons Center Cafe has elevated institutional cuisine to new heights. Chef Paolo Fontana and his team serve daily breakfasts and lunches to both students and the public that are inspired, fresh and delicious. No mystery meat here.

Food/Beverage Artisan

Oyster Bay Brewing Company, photo via fabulesslifestyles.com

Oyster Bay Brewing Company, photo via fabulesslifestyles.com

Oyster Bay Brewing Company. Friends Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter started Oyster Bay Brewing Company out of a love for both craft beer and their north shore hometown. Brewing since 2012, they are commemorating the Islanders last season in the Nassau Coliseum (the Old Barn) with a special ale, Barn Rocker, which is available for a limited time at home games and their brewery.

Food Shop/Market

Nick Voulgaris at Kerber's Farm

Nick Voulgaris at Kerber’s Farm

Kerber’s Farm. This once shuttered Huntington farm and market is experiencing a true Renaissance thanks to the vision and drive of new owner, Nick Voulgaris. Located just south of Huntington village, Kerber’s Farm boasts an in-season farm stand, delectable sweet and savory baked goods and worth-the-wait weekend lines out the door.

Nonprofit/Advocate

cinema arts centre logo

Cinema Arts Centre. Founded by the Skolnick family in 1973, the Cinema Arts Centre is a Long Island institution and a hub for those seeking thought-provoking films, including their series, “Let’s Eat! Food on Film.” Their Sky Room Cafe serves healthy all-natural foods including the only organic popcorn available in a movie venue on Long Island.

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Betsy Davidson is the editor at large of Edible Long Island.