Farm to Table
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”