Artisanal and locally sourced ingredients are increasingly prevalent in today’s food scene. Restaurants that source their ingredients from local farmers, growers, and wholesalers, as well as those that use artisanal production methods to create unique dishes, are growing in popularity across the country. These establishments are frequently referred to as “farm-to-table” restaurants and feature locally sourced, seasonal menus that have limited menu options at any given time.
A farm-to-table restaurant is a place where the chef buys locally sourced ingredients to feature on the menu. The idea behind this is to showcase the freshest, tastiest ingredients at all times. You can expect to see lots of seasonal items at these restaurants, so menus change all the time, which is why it can be so hard to make reservations. With a farm-to-table restaurant, you’re getting the freshest ingredients all the time. It’s an environmentally friendly way of eating, too, as it cuts out the need for long-distance transportation. Not every place that calls itself a farm-to-table restaurant truly lives up to the name. To be considered a true farm-to-table restaurant, 90% of the ingredients used in the restaurant must be sourced from within 100 miles of the restaurant itself.
If you’re going to a farm-to-table restaurant, you’re not going to see chicken Alfredo or a cheeseburger on the menu. Instead, you’ll see items like seasonal asparagus, wild salmon, and lamb chops. These restaurants usually have a limited menu because they’re sourcing ingredients that may only be available for a very short period of time. Farm-to-table restaurants tend to be more expensive because they’re sourcing their food from the best sources possible. If you’re looking for a fair price, you might want to avoid these types of restaurants. But if you’re willing to splash out, you’ll get an extremely fresh, gourmet meal that’s been sourced from the best possible places.
Farm-to-table restaurants take advantage of the seasonality of ingredients and use locally grown produce, dairy products, and meats. The dishes are often inspired by global cuisines as well. The produce and ingredients are often transported shorter distances, and at different times of year, which can make their quality better. Farm-to-table restaurants also use everyday cooking methods that do not require the use of high-temperature cooking or the use of lots of butter and fat. These cooking methods are healthier and create a more delicious tasting food by using fresh ingredients that haven’t been frozen or preserved using chemicals.