US farm-to-table at its best with this week’s feature restaurants

20 June 2019
Derek Wagner, chef and owner at Nicks on Broadway (Providence, Rhode Island, USA)

This week we celebrate the tireless work this selection of true farm-to-table restaurants are bringing to the table with their sustainability initiatives, local sourcing and of course fresh, delicious food.


Nicks on Broadway

  • WHO: Derek Wagner, chef/owner
  • WHAT: Providence restaurant focused on local seasonal ingredients & honest hospitality
  • WHERE: 500 Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

“Expressing a sense of place is very important to me. I am proud of where I am from and where we are.” Explains chef and owner Derek Wagner. “Supporting local farmers and producers is at the very centre and lifeblood of what we do at Nicks. One hundred per cent of our meat and eggs come from small farms in Rhode Island, and one hundred per cent of our seafood comes from Point Judith and the surrounding area. We compost, we recycle, grow herbs, have fruit trees and source almost all of our produce from Rhode Island and the surrounding areas, cultivating a deep connection to our food sources.

“We focus on underutilized fish species and working with smaller fishermen and farmers. We work with farmers to not only buy in season, but to also use what they grow and what they cannot sell as the basis for our purchasing and menus.”

To read more about Nicks on Broadway, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.


The Farmhouse

  • WHO: Michael Foust, chef/owner
  • WHAT: A small Kansas City farm-to-table restaurant working with three dozen local farms
  • WHERE: 300 Delaware Street, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

“Working with local farms we see sustainability in many ways. By buying directly from the farms, we pay ‘real food’ prices. In doing this our farmers can make a living wage which in turn allows them to spend more in their community – and the community supports the farmers by eating the food they grow. By using seconds and thirds we can help control the farmers inventories, making sure we use all that we can which also helps with the restaurant price point.

“The farmhouse partners with individual farms and ranches looking at animal welfare, animal husbandry and how the partners work with management of land and resources. We also support foraging and try to focus on the control of invasive species.

“It is our responsibility to lead by example and control all of our waste. In our industry we can make changes and set precedents on how we take care of our planet and its resources.”

To read more about The Farmhouse, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

The Farmhouse (Kansas City, Missouri, USA)The Farmhouse (Kansas City, Missouri, USA)


Tiny Diner

  • WHO: Kim Bartmann, instigator
  • WHAT: A Minneapolis neighborhood institution with gigantic planet-healing ambitions
  • WHERE: 1024 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

"At Tiny Diner we use fresh, local ingredients and are inspired by different American cities, their regional cuisines and hometown diners.

“We rent a plot on one of Minnesota’s oldest organic/permaculture farms and produce our own vegetables – about forty to sixty thousand pounds over summer. Utilizing this incredible produce, we offer ‘The Macro Bowl’ (pictured). It’s one of our favourite dishes, as well as being a customer favourite ¬– and for good reason! Ingredients like broccoli, brown rice, wild rice, kale, tofu, avocado, kimchi, roasted beets, and roasted garlic create a multi-dimensional eating experience that allows guests to craft their perfect bite – it’s just a good looking and tasting dish."

“We teach classes to the public on urban gardening, seed saving, bee keeping, and permaculture design principles, as well as hosting a Thursday night farmers' market during the harvest season."

To read more about Tiny Diner, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

The Macro Bowl, served at Tiny Diner (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)The Macro Bowl, served at Tiny Diner (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)


Prairie Plate Restaurant

  • WHO: Renee Cornett, chef & Jerry Cornett, farm manager
  • WHAT: A rural restaurant where guests enjoy a seasonal menu based on regional products
  • WHERE: 10405 Branched Oak Road, Waverly, Nebraska

“Prairie Plate Restaurant is a farm-to-table restaurant on the farm. We provide our guests with a regional and seasonal menu based on ingredients from our co-located certified organic farm and over twenty-five regional providers.

“We grow approximately seventy varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs on farm and sell some of our specialty produce to grocery stores and other restaurants. We utilize local pasture-raised pork, lamb and grass fed/finished beef as well as pasture-raised eggs from small local farmers.

“There are very few restaurants in Nebraska with this concept. One of our observations after traveling the world in the Navy is that the Great Plains has some of the richest soil on earth and supports an incredibly diverse array of agriculture with rich soil and water, as well as a topography to support grazing animals. It’s the soil and grasses that provide a rich, nutrient-dense, flavour to our meat and dairy products.”

To read more about Prairie Plate Restaurant visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Prairie Plate Restaurant (Waverly, Nebraska, USA)Prairie Plate Restaurant (Waverly, Nebraska, USA)


Uncommon Ground

  • WHO: Helen & Michael Cameron, owners
  • WHAT: A local, organic, sustainable, farm-to-table restaurant with a certified-organic rooftop farm
  • WHERE: 3800 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA (and other locations)

“We use locally-sourced ingredients that are organic whenever possible and we also grow our own in the first certified organic rooftop farm in the United States. We only serve sustainable seafood, grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, alongside our own farmed produce at both of our locations.

“Both Uncommon Ground locations utilize large solar panel arrays to heat the water for the restaurants and we encourage our chefs to be as close to a zero-waste kitchen as possible. We also have continued to increase the number of vegetarian, vegan and meat-free dishes using our own farmed organic produce across the entire menu.

“’Nurture nature, nourish community’ is our motto. In addition to growing our own organic produce on our rooftop farm, we also educate through our annual urban-agriculture program throughout summer. We host a "First Fridays on the Organic Rooftop Farm" to educate our community on what is possible in an urban environment as well as hosting monthly, bi-annual and annual fundraisers for organizations such as Slow Food."

Hearty congratulations to Uncommon Ground's West Devon restaurant on reaching the ripe old age of eleven on 21 June!

To read more about Uncommon Ground, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Uncommon Ground (Chicago, Illinois, USA)Uncommon Ground (Chicago, Illinois, USA)


Red Feather

  • WHO: Brad Bernstein, chef/owner
  • WHAT: A contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant
  • WHERE: 3200 Madison Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

“Red Feather sources only sustainable fish and seafood, as well as seasonal mushrooms, ramps, paw paws and chestnuts from foragers. Sourcing locally grows the local economy and minimizes carbon-cost while providing the freshest ingredients with the terroir, taste, and identity of our locale. Partnering with these local business and producers and participating in local charities keeps us involved and central to our community.

“Red Feather are also proud recipients of Slow Food Cincinnati’s Snail of Approval which is awarded to those exceptional producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of food in Cincinnati. Slow Food Cincinnati works to promote an open food community by improving access, facilitating dialogue, and inspiring local food culture. They foster an environment that works to develop, create, and savour food in a way that is educational, respectful, and delightful."

To read more about Red Feather, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Red Feather (Cinncinati, Ohio, USA)Red Feather (Cinncinati, Ohio, USA)


Founding Farmers

  • WHO: North Dakota Farmers Union, Dan Simons & Mike Vucerevich, co-owners
  • WHAT: Farmer-owned restaurant with locations across the DC area
  • WHERE: 1924 Pennsylvania Ave Northwest, Washington, DC, USA (plus other locations)

“Mindfulness, honesty, and accountability are ingrained in us because it is the farmer’s way. The flour we choose to make our bread comes from the state-owned North Dakota Mill, therefore the profits go directly back to the people of North Dakota. Also, we incorporate recycled and refurbished materials when designing and building our restaurants, as well as compost and recycle waste in efforts to uphold our environmental and social responsibility.

“We do not use any preservatives or frozen items. We also do not microwave anything – everything is made from scratch in our kitchen, including baking our own bread and making our own sauces.

“We have also eliminated all plastic straws and now use only paper. As a sustainably run restaurant company, we know we need to manage our food waste carefully, and we do so in a variety of ways – from trying to serve reasonably sized portions for our menu selections – to composting uneaten food.”

To read more about Founding Farmers, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Founding Farmers (Washington, DC, USAFounding Farmers (Washington, DC, USA


Try this week's recipe for New England smoked fish chowder from Noosa Boathouse

20 June 2019
New England smoked fish chowder

Our New England Smoked Fish Chowder is staple on our Winter menu at Noosa Boathouse and as the seasons change and winter comes into play, chef Shane Bailey will add it to the menu. We are lucky to have so much local seafood in our waters in Noosa, so there is never a shortage of fantastic fresh seafood to include in the chowder. We often include Mooloolaba prawns and scallops so feel free to get creative and add your favourite seafood, as the soup will work well with all types of seafood.


New England Smoked Fish Chowder

by Chef Shane Bailey

(Serves 4)

  • 40ml vegetable oil
  • 1 onion – finely sliced
  • 2 cloves aussie garlic – peeled and sliced
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 750g potatoes (buy unwashed and wash yourself) cut into chunks
  • 750ml good fish stock (best to make your own)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Mega chef fish sauce
  • White pepper – to taste
  • 420g smoked kingfish – 100g in soup, 320g to garnish

Garnish:

  • 2 x corn cobs – cooked and corn cut off
  • 3 rashes of bacon – diced and cooked
  • Chives - chopped

In a saucepan over a medium heat Sautee onion and garlic until soft.

Deglaze with white wine.

Add potatoes, bay leaves and fish stock, gently simmer until potatoes are very soft.

Add 100g fish and cook for 2 more minutes.

Blend, add cream and season to taste with fish sauce and white pepper.

That’s now ready to serve, so pour into 4 bowls.

Garnish with fresh corn, remaining smoked kingfish (80g per bowl) crispy bacon, chives and a drizzle of olive oil.

Chef Shane Bailey, Noosa Boathouse (Noosaville, Queensland, Australia)Chef Shane Bailey, Noosa Boathouse (Noosaville, Queensland, Australia)


Field & Main's Neal Wavra tackles the TL&CC Q&A

20 June 2019

My role is to provide the conditions for hospitality to unfold. I'm fortunate to work with a caring team of individuals at Field & Main Restaurant, which my wife and I created along with our two girls. When I'm not working, I enjoy finding inspiration from being in nature, reading and experiencing a variety of cultures.


What is your idea of perfect happiness? The joy derived in pursuit of one’s purpose.

What is the purest thing you have ever tasted? Gnocchi in the piedmont, hamacchi belly at The Willows.

What is the best thing you can do with your hands? Serve.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating? I recall eating berries that I picked. Eating anything from the wild has always thrilled me.

What do you love most about what you do? Contributing to memorable experiences.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever been taught? How to get out of debt.

Is there anything you don’t particularly care to eat? Oysters – I have a mild allergic reaction to them.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? An adventurer.

When was the last time you ate out, and where? Anniversary; Three Blacksmiths; Sperryville, Virginia.

Are there any mentors or food heroes you would like to thank? Charlie Trotter.

What are your favourite books or cookbooks? So many! One is Eric Ripert's A Return to Cooking.

What do you make from scratch? Salad dressing – ALWAYS.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Traveling.

How do you like to spend your day off? Hiking/running outside in the hills/mountains.

What does success mean to you? Freedom.

What is your current obsession, the thing you think about at 3am? Movement.

What are the qualities you most admire in others? Proficiency, character, service-oriented.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you? I helped pour the concrete for the build-out of Field & Main.

Which three words best describe your cooking style? Local, comfortable, refined.

If you could eat only one thing today, what would it be? Roasted meat and salad.

What do you see when you think of the cuisine of your own country? Such a variety - a global perspective found on one plate.

Which producer or supplier really brightens your day? So many! I love seeing them in the dining room enjoying a meal.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Enjoy!

Which talent would you most like to have? Magic.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Be more expressive.

What do you think the food of the future will look like? Daily food may be reduced to quick consumption elements; derivations, powders, concentrations, etc. that will provide nutrition. In contrast to this, the culinary arts will become more artistic.

Do you have a motto or mantra? It is what it is and everything is possible given time and resources.

What is your number one sustainability tip or trick? In public restrooms, shake hands ten times after washing, then fold one piece of paper towel and it will completely dry your hands. Cuts down on all the wasted paper.

Neal Wavra, Field & Main (Marshall, Virginia, USA)Neal Wavra, Field & Main (Marshall, Virginia, USA)


Featuring seven sustainable ocean-to-field offerings from the land down under

13 June 2019
Transformer Fitzroy (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

This week's seven feature restaurants hail from the land 'down under' and all offer delicious seasonal, sustainable ocean-to-field fare.


Transformer Fitzroy

  • WHO: Laki Papadopoulos & Mark Price, owners
  • WHAT: Super smart vegetarian & vegan restaurant in backstreet Fitzroy
  • WHERE: 99 Rose Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC

“At Transformer we are passionate about promoting the changing face of vegetarian cuisine. We love making vegetables, grains and pulses the stars of the show, utilizing fresh local ingredients. We are continually striving to present the most interesting yet approachable offerings complemented by attentive and knowledgeable staff.

“Working with the seasons is not just an ideal with plant based cuisine but a necessity. Once the local asparagus season is over, we aren’t looking to import Peruvian produce, instead we look to the next local season to find nutritious greens from which to base a dish. We utilize foraged ingredients such as pine and slippery jack mushrooms. Drying, pickling and fermenting these products draws out their use for months after the season has ended.

“Sustainability is important to us at Transformer. It’s not just about using produce that promotes sustainable farming practices but also the sustainability of our work force. It is essential to us that we encourage a healthy work-life balance as we find this is integral to building a team that has the opportunity to grow. Using organic and biodynamic produce not only aligns well with the ethos of the business, it also usually tastes the best and has the most easily discernible provenance. Knowing where the produce we serve at the restaurant has come from and the care with which it has been treated is key to the experience we want our guests to have at the restaurant.”

To read more about Transformer Fitzroy visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.


Noosa Boathouse

  • WHO: Phil & Sarah Bradford, owners & Shane Bailey, chef
  • WHAT: Lunch & dinner restaurant, sunset bar, takeaway fish & chips & coffee bar
  • WHERE: 194 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, Queensland, Australia

“We are passionate about providing quality produce, fantastic service and being able to offer something for everyone. Sourcing and buying produce directly from local farmers, fisherman and growers is important to us as it stays in line with our ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy and ensures we receive only the freshest product with minimal food miles.

“We buy line-caught fish straight off the boat, direct from the fisherman and use secondary cuts of beef, ensuring the whole animal is used and not wasted. Our menu changes to reflect the rhythm of the seasons and ensures the best quality produce is used.

“For the past six years, we have also implemented our own compost system – placing compostable vegetable and plant items from prep along with restaurant food waste into separate buckets in our kitchen. A local farmer then comes twice a week and collects a total of 300 litres to use in her state-of-the-art worm farm compost system, which she then uses for her farm. This diverts approximately fifteen tons of food waste per year from becoming landfill.”

To read more about Noosa Boathouse, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Noosa Boathouse (Noosaville, Queensland, Australia)Noosa Boathouse (Noosaville, Queensland, Australia)


Bacash

  • WHO: Fiona Perkins & Michael Bacash, owners/chefs
  • WHAT: A sophisticated & sustainable seafood restaurant
  • WHERE: 175 Domain Road, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

“We only buy great fish. Fish can only be great when caught in small quantities and handled with care. Whilst sustainability isn't our catch cry, our purchasing and handling practices have all the aspects of sustainability covered. We source our oysters from organic farms – from growers we have developed relationships with over the years. We also focus on purchasing the best local, seasonal and organic produce.

“At Bacash we do a lot of simply grilled fish – our minimalist approach highlights the characteristics of the different species. I am passionate about fish and my job as a chef is to bring out the nuances of the fish and not overpower them with technique. If I was a fish, I’d like to end up in our kitchen.”

To read more about Bacash, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Bacash (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)Bacash (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)


Fleet

  • WHO: Astrid McCormack, Josh Lewis & Robert Mudge, co-owners
  • WHAT: A tiny fourteen-seat North Coast restaurant with a big heart
  • WHERE: Shop 2, 16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, New South Wales

“We are blessed with an abundance of produce in this area, therefore we work almost exclusively with local producers and growers. The freshness of produce is unsurpassed when you are buying direct from the local community and it’s so wonderful to have that personal connection.

“We use lesser cuts such as lamb neck, parsons nose and pigs trotters and buy in whole, local, sustainable fish, working a lot with smaller species and by-catch. We utilize surplus produce from local suppliers and preserve it to ensure it’s not wasted and thereby ensuring they receive an income. We also work with wild produce, however we are very mindful of how our use impacts the environment.”

To read more about Fleet, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Astrid McCormack & Josh Lewis from Fleet (Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, Australia)Astrid McCormack & Josh Lewis from Fleet (Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, Australia)


Detour

  • WHO: Damon Amos, chef/owner
  • WHAT: A contemporary restaurant that omnivores & herbivores can share
  • WHERE: 6/11 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

“At Detour we are passionate about sharing and inclusion. The menu has been intentionally designed to provide dishes for diners with varying dietary requirements. Our share-plates offer an equal split of omnivore and herbivore options. All of our herbivore dishes are vegan and ninety-nine per cent of the menu is gluten free. We have on ongoing mission to continue to change and innovate the way the restaurant is operated – reducing our impact on the environment and being a positive influence in our community.

“We’re also proud to be doing our part to highlight the critical plight of our friend the bee. We don’t simply sprinkle bee pollen over our just-set burnt honey panna cotta with honey and mead marscarpone, (pictured) but nestled within the floral garnish is also a dehydrated, edible bee – supplied by Bee One Third. This dish enables us to highlight the plight of the bees, as well as supporting our local supplier.”

To read more about Detour visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Detour's Burnt Honey Panna Cotta (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)Detour's Burnt Honey Panna Cotta (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)


Sarah’s Sister’s Sustainable Café

  • WHO: Marion Prosser & Stuart Gifford, owners/chefs
  • WHAT: Fresh, local, seasonal & vegetarian-vegan since 1978
  • WHERE: 117 Semaphore Road, Semaphore, Adelaide, South Australia

“Our first cafe, Sarah's Cafe, opened in 1978, with the mantra ‘fresh, local, seasonal’ with food (and philosophy) inspired by Elizabeth David, Alice Waters, and Cheong Liew.

“Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Café opened in 2005 with a focus on reduced food miles, freshness and minimizing wastage. Our produce is sourced from local urban farmers, foragers, local garden schools and customers. From the first Sarah's Cafe – inspired by old Parisian local workers' cafes where most customers said 'just feed me' – this is still a feature, which ensures nearly zero food wastage – no food is thrown out.

“Our Garden Dining Room faces directly north. The ‘wall’ consists of roll-up clear plastic blinds, ensuring natural heat is collected in winter, and allowing the blinds to be opened on warmer days. Semaphore's microclimate is perfect for this design, with its more moderate temperatures. The garden can moderate the temperatures by around three degrees. This passive design, along with our slashing of food miles and wastage, is the main contributor to reducing our footprint by up to fifty per cent.”

To read more about Sarah’s Sister’s Sustainable Café visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe (Adelaide, South Australia)Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe (Adelaide, South Australia)


The Wolfe

  • WHO: Josh Lopez, chef/owner
  • WHAT: Small but significant produce-driven restaurant in East Brisbane
  • WHERE: 989 Stanley Street, East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

“The Wolfe grows all herbs in our own garden and always cook to the seasons. We work closely with an organic farmer, John Cutts, who grows our vegetables. This has been a twenty-plus-year-friendship built on sharing the same beliefs in farming. All chicken and pork is organic and pasture-raised, whilst all of our beef products come directly from the stock yard. Our apprentices and floor staff have the opportunity to visit the farms and vineyards that we support, helping them to understand the love and care that works its way into our food chain, therefore enabling them to share our vision with our customers."

To read more about The Wolfe, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

The Wolfe (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)The Wolfe (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)


In the know...

Just in case you're planning a much-deserved break at Newfoundland's incredible Fogo Island Inn – travelling there just got easier!

From 12 July through to early September, guests of Fogo Island Inn can now arrive on Fogo Island in one day from major US hubs on a newly-launched private air charter.

Click here to find out all you need to know.

Fogo Island Inn (Newfoundland, Canada)Fogo Island Inn (Newfoundland, Canada)


13 June 2019

Don't miss this week's delicious and unique Octopus recipe by Chef Alastair Waddell which utilizes local kelp – foraged by food researcher and forager, Peter Hardwick – by roasting at a low temperature until dry and beautifully caramelised, as well as for creating their special charred kelp vinegar.

06 June 2019

This week's seven feature restaurants are offering up some truly authentic and creatively modern delizioso italiano and share their restaurant’s favourite, go-to dishes.

06 June 2019

Be sure to make this delicious wild mushroom pasta from Sebastopol's Lowell's restaurant.

30 May 2019

A focus on the global, traditional and seasonal offerings that this week's feature restaurants bring to their tables.