Farm-to-table has become part of our common vernacular and for good reason. This practice of chefs working with local farmers to directly supply food for their restaurants has become more prevalent and has become popular with customers of these restaurants serving the best, fresh, local food. What exactly is farm-to-table? We found a great definition on The Spruce.
“Farm-to-table” is a phrase that can mean different things to different people. At its heart, however, “farm-to-table” means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm, without going through a store, market, or distributor along the way. — The Spruce
While the practice has spread all over the country, there are some chefs leading the charge. We are highlighting a few below along with their restaurants that you really must try.
Chef David Kinch and his restaurant Manresa have been in the spotlight for years because of a commitment to consistent quality and a successful farm-to-table practice. In 2014 a documentary was produced called “The Farmer & The Chef” which profiled Kinch as well as Farmer Cynthia Sandberg who owns Love Apple Farms in the Santa Cruz Mountains and supplies all the produce to Manresa. Their partnership has proved to be a success as was the documentary. Kinch is an award winning, three Michelin Star chef and he seems to be unstoppable.
Our next chef, Kevin Gillespie, may look familiar. He’s been on our televisions for a few years now having been thrust into the spotlight on Bravo’s Top Chef. His creative American cuisine has been lauded as well as his commitment to organic, farm-to-table, seasonal ingredients. He adapts his daily menu as the seasons provide different food with which to work and his menus also reflect the farms which provide the fare. With hands in several restaurants including Revival, Gunshow, Woodfire Grill, and the latest, Gamechanger.
Chef Ryan Hardy has had a long and successful career all over the country. His most recent venture is the one that is his most successful farm-to-table venture, however. Charlie Bird in New York set out with the mission of becoming a neighborhood favorite. With an Italian-focused menu of woodfire pizzas and all that pairs well with them including an impressive wine list curated by Hardy’s partner, sommelier Robert Bohr.
As Charlie Bird describes itself, their “menu comes from New York’s farmers markets, Long Island fishing boats, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travelers with passionate palates. We’re crushing seafood, roasted meats, crazy good wine and creamy espresso. Our wine list is broad enough for you to come by and enjoy wine with us every night or, you can be a baller and order something you can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re Italian influenced, American executed and entirely New York.”
With sustainable, organic, farm-to-table practices becoming more and more prevalent across the United States, we can expect to see this harmonious partnership between chefs, restaurants, and farmers grow. For more on restaurants that care, read Sustainable Michelin-Starred Restaurants. So, tell us, have you ever dined farm-to-table? What are your favorite restaurants that embrace the movement?