Methodology: New England’s 25 Best Food Towns
Monday, February 25, 2013
GoLocal's researchers sought to quantify the essences of a truly great food town by capturing several key factors about it: its top restaurants and its culinary lifestyle.
To assess its concentration of top restaurants, researchers utilized a set of awards and ratings: AAA's Diamond rating system and Mobil/Forbes' Startle Star rating system formed the basis for the pool. Restaurants that rated 4 or 5 diamonds/stars in the last 4 years were collected and filed by their location. From there, researchers logged every James Beard Foundation award winner for the last 4 years as well as the 2013 semi-finalists and applied those restaurants to the base of cities of towns.
Researchers also collected Gayot rankings as well as "best of" namings from Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines. (Zagat ratings could not be used for rankings as it does not cover all of New England). Local Eats and The Daily Meal winners were also collected and logged into the base of towns.
Quality of culinary life
To add an element of overall food culture, researchers collected culinary schools, cooking schools, and institutions that offered fairly regular cooking classes, as well as noting a local farmer's market in each town. Finally, festivals and events that were town- or city-based that celebrated food or wine were added to a city or town's overall profile.
From there, GoLocal applied a proprietary weighting of each category to arrive at the final rankings.
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