The threads of Sylvia’s background are dizzyingly varied … until you see how they have come together to form the core of Sylvia Lovely & Associates along with Food News and Chews television and Dear Foodie. Then, the connections are made clear.
First of all, Sylvia spent 25 years working with cities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation in a variety of contexts. As a lawyer, her work lie largely in legislative advocacy on issues of vital interest to the well-being of cities. She was and is also a writer and speaker on the subject of civic engagement born of her ever growing interest in how communities evolve and thrive into the future. She is the author of The Little Blue Book of Big Ideas – New Cities in America and The Little Red Book of Everyday Heroes along with numerous published articles, NPR commentaries and op pieces in numerous newspapers.
Upon leaving her day to day work with cities, she embarked along with a handful of partners upon restaurant ownership with Azur Restaurant and Patio, an early adopter of the farm to table movement. The “act of eating” and its implications for communities met up with her media work first as co-host with Chef Jeremy Ashby, Executive Chef and co-owner of Azur, with Sunny Side Up Radio and then Food News and Chews television, both media outlets for what she calls “serious fun.” With her on-air antics and over the top costumes, she along with Chef Jeremy Ashby discuss food policy, interview major culinary figures and provide instruction on how to put a dish together – all this with an overarching theme of clarifying what the local food movement means to ordinary people.
Altogether, these threads add up to Sylvia as “foodie” with a bent toward building great communities and educating those on the ground on how to engage. Sylvia writes, speaks and conducts seminars and planning sessions on food policy and systems as well as providing stories of her own career journey. She is particularly interested in both introducing and engaging local elected officials in seizing the “movement,” in this case the local food movement to create wealth with a “homegrown” industry while promoting good health, food safety … that come with choosing to go local. Sylvia’s latest media venture is the launch of “Dear Foodie,” a much needed advice column for the bewildered consumer who as she says, “doesn’t know a Cushaw from a Rudabega from a Winabago” but is interested in feeding his or her family well. Sylvia says she stands in for the ordinary consumer with her apron emblazoned with the words: “So I’m not Betty Crocker, deal with it!”