We take a look at two local restaurants paying homage to the farm-to-table movement.
It’s not rocket science to establish that by reducing the time and distance between the farm and table results in fresher produce that’s more likely to have all its nutrients intact. One needs only to note the increasing plethora of farmers’ markets that have popped up all over the country, where legions of dedicated foodies make weekly pilgrimages in search of freshly harvested produce. Elevating the concept one-step further are the eateries who’ve embraced the concept of farm to table in its purest form.
Hospitality’s pride of the eastern suburbs, Meadow, and sister bar and eatery 46 & York in Parnell, both boast a fully operational market garden located on the family farm in Clevedon. Thanks to the constant demands of two busy eateries, the farm is able to harvest fresh produce to order on a daily basis. From the purpose-planted micro greens and baby herbs used for garnishing, to the succulent beetroot that’s masterfully crafted into delicate slices of carpaccio or roasted and puréed for a vibrant soup, the broccoli used to create a unique take on pesto for a fresh condiment to enhance poached eggs or the abundant apples and feijoas liquidised into house-made sodas, smoothies and juices.
According to co-owner Dana Johnston, the key to establishing a successfully symbiotic relationship between farm and plate is the constant communication between the farm and the chef. “We’ll get word from Clevedon that the organic Golden Queen peaches will be perfect for harvesting in the next week and our chef will get busy creating special menu items such as a light peach compote to serve with our house made granola or a peach-centric smoothie or juice to capitalise on the new harvest.”
On a daily basis the kitchen receives deliveries of plump produce still bearing remnants of the earth it was grown in and charmingly varying in shape and size. “Sure it takes work, to tend, to harvest, and then to care for in the kitchen, but it reminds everyone that produce actually grows in the dirt, and doesn’t just come in clean, wrapped in plastic. It needs to be cleaned and prepared, and sometimes that means getting wet, a little dirty, and sure, some of it might be odd shapes and sizes but that’s how nature intended it — honest beauty in its true form. By growing our own produce we can stand behind its origin, freshness and quality”.
20 St Johns Rd
(09) 521 1462