In today’s modern world, the reality is that most people don’t know where their food comes from — or even care much about it, for that matter. But with the increase in harmful chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives, it’s your moral imperative to know a little more about what you put in your body.
This is where the culinary trend of farm-to-table is paving the way for a far more ”woke” attitude towards what you consume. The farm-to-table concept is nothing new. Only it seems as though modern society has overlooked it along the way in its pursuit for convenience.
To learn more about farm-to-table and the top restaurants paving the way, just keep on reading.
What Does the Farm-to-Table Culinary Trend Mean?
So what exactly defines farm-to-table, anyway? For many people across a range of cultures, it can mean a number of things. But in general, farm-to-table refers to food that comes from a specific farm, without using a store, market, or some other distributor.
Some other phrases you may have heard include farm-fresh, locally-sourced, or farm-to-fork. In the restaurant industry, the phrase farm-to-table is not officially regulated. This means that any restaurant can use the concept as long as it fulfills the definition.
In a farm-to-table restaurant setting, food items are often grown, cultivated, and prepared onsite. They are then prepared in the restaurant kitchen and served to customers. You can even experience a tour of the farm or land before you sit down and enjoy your meal, making it an educational culinary experience.
Here are some of the top restaurants across America that offer this type of dining experience:
1. Chez Panisse (Berkeley, California)
This restaurant is well-known across the region with a reputation as a culinary institution. It has set the benchmark for fresh, beautiful, and well-thought-out food in California. Chez Panisse is the brain-child of Alice Waters — an award-winning chef of French origin.
The restaurant has been paving the way for the farm-to-table initiative since it opened its doors in 1971. Many believe that it was Chez Panisse that kickstarted the entire movement.
The restaurant serves French-inspired and Provençal-style cuisine. And it’s only made from seasonal, local ingredients on a prix fixe menu. You can choose to dine at the more formal restaurant setting, which is by reservation only, or at the upstairs cafe which offers a gorgeous à la carte menu.
2. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, New York)
This iconic restaurant is set on 80 acres of gardens, woodland, and meadows. This makes it the perfect place for sourcing, growing, and foraging for ingredients. Blue Hill brings to life the true concept of farm-to-table.
In other words, it’s far more than just a place to eat. If you are both a foodie and an agriculture enthusiast, an outing to Blue Hill offers the entire package. You may have even noticed this restaurant featured on the popular Netflix show ”Chef’s Table”.
Originally established in Greenwich Village, it is still open today as the Greenwich Village Blue Hill restaurant and serves a tasting menu inspired by the week’s harvest at Blue Hill in Pocantico Hills.
But if you want to make the one-hour drive from New York, you can experience the full tasting experience dubbed ”grazing, pecking, and rooting”.
3. Spruce (San Francisco, California)
The concept of farm-to-table dining is also known as the locavore movement. Many believe that the origin of this movement began in San Francisco. Spruce is a restaurant that truly embodies the concept and is loved deeply by locals and visitors alike.
Based on a local ranch, the restaurant sources over 80 percent of its own produce. It then creatives unique, innovative, and delicious dishes, all served in a dreamy, romantic setting.
They also offer a prix fixe menu, based on harvest features. This means the menu is always subject-to-change, always fresh, wholesome, and packed full of unique flavor.
4. Farm & Table (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
If the setting of this restaurant wasn’t enough, overlooking the desert at sunset while surrounded by twinkling fairy lights, the food will blow your mind. It’s as cozy as eating at home, but the food is on another level.
Community is what drives this Albuquerque institution. They only use ingredients grown by local producers on their very own 11-acre farm. Owned by Cherie Montoya, the menu features New Mexico’s seasonal harvests in beautiful flavor and produce combinations.
You haven’t lived until you try the porcini-crusted pork chops, served with bacon fig butter. Need we say more?
5. Kaimana Farm Cafe (Honolulu, Hawaii)
As the name suggests, this Honolulu icon only uses produce grown and cultivated by local farmers. The farm-to-table concept is alive and thriving in Hawaii, but Kaimana Farm Cafe is a true leader in its quality and diversity of locally-grown produce.
Owned and operated by a Japanese couple, this restaurant serves amazing dishes with big flavor from a relatively small space! Don’t miss the freshly made bento boxes and deli salads, or the soufflé omelet for breakfast.
6. Restaurant Eugene (Atlanta, Georgia)
If you’re heading to downtown Atlanta, this is a farm-to-table restaurant you don’t want to miss. With a focus on traditional southern cuisine, you can find menu items that rotate according to what’s in season. You’re also offered an insight into the farmer’s names who source all of their ingredients on the menu.
Owned and operated by a husband and wife duo, Chef Linton Hopkins and sommelier Gina Hopkins, you can find upmarket cuisine with a southern flair, all expertly prepared and curated to match the best flavors of each season.
7. Farm Spirit (Portland, Oregon)
This is one of the best New American, multi-course, vegan restaurants in the country. Here you can experience an intimate and earthy dining experience where Farm Spirit celebrates the local offerings of the forest, field, and farm.
You also have the chance to watch the preparation of your meal with seating at the Oregon Ash counter and a direct view into the kitchen. All plant-based meals are served with artisan wines and on hand-made crockery. Sustainability is a major theme at Farm Spirit and you can see that in nearly every detail during your dining experience.
You won’t find a single ingredient that doesn’t originate from within a 100-mile radius of the restaurant.
Keep Up With Today’s Top Trends Right Here
The farm-to-table culinary trend is one that has sustainability at its core. It’s about being mindful of how and where we source what we eat, not only to benefit our health but our environment too!
If you’re interested in following current trends in health, cuisine, travel, fashion, or other lifestyle topics, be sure to explore the rest of this site for your fix.