Farm to table dining
Rick Bayless received the second-ever Julia Child Award at a ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. His speech, marked by humility, focused less on himself than on the huge impact Julia Child had on his own career and on the nation’s food culture. Please enjoy the transcript of his speech.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table website is launching a new series titled “Growing Young Farmers.” This series will provide a platform for members of this new generation to discuss why they have chosen farming, the opportunities that motivate them, and the challenges as well. And we could not be happier to kick off the series than with this following essay written by Kara Gunthorp of Indiana’s Gunthorp Farms, a leader in sustainable livestock production.
In this latest installment of Good Food on Every Table’s “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series, Chef Jesse Badger explains how Chicago’s Spoke and Bird addresses the challenges faced by small restaurants in developing relationships with their farmers for meat and produce purchases.
John Des Rosiers was still in his early 30s when he opened Inovasi, a highly regarded restaurant in the Chicago North Shore suburb of Lake Bluff. Yet he already had many years in the kitchen behind him. In fact, it would not be a wild exaggeration to say he was born to be a chef. Read about his career and dedication to sourcing from local farmers in the latest installment of the “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
LocalLocal.com is an online directory of restaurants, farms and food retailers that sell locally sourced food. By displaying the connections between retailers/restaurants and the farms where their food comes from, LocalLocal verifies that food is authentically local. LocalLocal founder Reed Shelger contributed this latest installment in Good Food on Every Table’s “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Jordan Lloyd had zero intention of creating a “farm to table” restaurant. Instead, he and his wife looked for the highest-quality ingredients when they opened their 30-seat Bartlett Pear Inn on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Nonetheless, the Lloyds quickly discovered that the roads to those highest-quality ingredients led to farms in the largely rural area surrounding their home base near the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
Farmhouse Chicago, located at the west end of downtown, is a genuine farm to table restaurant that sources most of its ingredients from the states that border on Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Since its opening five yeas ago, Farmhouse Chicago also has been a friend of Family Farmed. So it is no coincidence that an event scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 3 — at which Farmhouse will introduce its five new proprietary hard apple ciders — is also a fundraiser for our nonprofit, which will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the tickets sold.
Two things are clear about the annual Chef BBQ fundraiser staged by Chicago’s Green City Market, which took place Thursday evening. One is that the BBQ will be one of the best food and beverage tasting events on the calendar of food-centric Chicago. The other, it seems, is that the summer weather may always be a challenge for this event.
Urban agriculture in on the rise, in many cases providing jobs, opportunities and access to Good Food for residents of underserved communities. But the farm Jen Rosenthal manages on Chicago’s South Side has particular social significance: It is on a site once occupied by apartment towers of The Robert Taylor Homes, which had grown so troubled-plagued that its residents were relocated and the buildings torn down.
Cleetus Friedman, the executive chef of Chicago’s Caffè Baci restaurants, began his food journey busing tables in his native Baltimore about 30 years ago, when he was in his teens. Yet the road leading to his place at the cutting edge of the local and sustainable food movement had some twists and turns.
There are few people in the restaurant business who have kept farm to table real better — or longer — than Chicago’s Helen and Mike Cameron. They opened Uncommon Ground in 1991 and ever since have been blazing trails in providing diners with locally and sustainable produced food. Read about their ahead-of-the-curve experiences and their 25th anniversary events in the latest installment of our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Rob Levitt has been one of Chicago’s leading butchers for several years, and his store, The Butcher & Larder, has gained an even higher profile since moving from its tiny original shop to the Local Foods retail store that opened last June. Customer service and information is part of the store’s stock in trade — so it was not surprising when the news broke Thursday that fans voted The Butcher & Larder as Best Butcher Shop in Chicago in an online poll.
“Minimizing food waste is the next round of work that we have to do, both in the farm to table movement and in our food culture generally,” says Abra Berens, chef of Stock Cafe at the innovative Local Foods market in Chicago. Read about her devotion to locally and sustainably sourced food, and to not letting any of it go to waste, in the latest installment of our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
It might sound somewhat surprising that Rick Bayless, a pioneering advocate for the Chicago region’s local farmers and a master of regional Mexican cuisine, recently converted to using imported corn for his tortillas.
But this isn’t just any corn. It is dried heirloom corn from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where some historians believe the cultivation of maize began. And it underscores the fact that in a diverse and increasingly interconnected food culture, authentic farm to table restaurants may take their search for the best ingredients way beyond their local areas…. and sometimes to a different part of the world.
The Mayan Café presents traditional cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that since 2007 has delighted diners (and reviewers) in the restaurant row in Louisville’s East Market District, a.k.a. NuLu. And they have done so in part by going all in on sourcing ingredients as locally as possible, a decision that made them a farm-to-table front-runner in Kentucky’s most populous city. Good Food on Every Table is pleased to present a q-and-a with Shadle and Ucan as our first out-of-Chicago article in our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Sourcing locally is a commitment that is both rewarding and frustrating for a chef. But metro Chicago’s White Oak Gourmet
is committed, even if it means chasing chickens (okay, chicken delivery trucks) around the city. Read Chef Tom Leavitt’s reflections on building relationships with farmers in this contributed column.
The Kitchen was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2004 and features delicious food with a strong focus on local and sustainable sourcing at its restaurants. And The Kitchen goes beyond the core Good Food principles with its strong social mission, embodied in its school learning gardens program. Johnny Anderes, head chef of the The Kitchen location in Chicago, discussed the restaurant’s Good Food practices.
Paul Kahan, a winner of a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef of the Year award, has built his career around his dedication to sourcing sustainably produced ingredients, as locally as possible, for his restaurants’ kitchens. Family Farmed and Good Food on Every Table are pleased to present this profile and q-and-a with Kahan to kick off our new “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
The Good Food movement has made tremendous strides during recent years, but this progress is fresh and fragile. Among the biggest challenges is ensuring consumers that the Good Food claims made by people in the industry are legit. So FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table is launching the new chef-driven series, “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real.”