July 6, 2016
Pure Farm-To-Table Dining
Farm-to-table, also known as, farm-to-fork, locally sourced, or farm fresh is, at its roots, a social movement, which promotes serving locally grown fresh fare. At its heart, “farm-to-table” means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm, without going through a store, market, or distributor along the way.
Farm-to-table supports sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and free range, as opposed to genetically modified food and animals injected with antibiotics and hormones.
The growing popularity of farm-to-table fare has come as a result of changes in attitudes about food safety and freshness along with public awareness and desire for fresh, local ingredients, free of pesticides and GMO’s.
In its purest form, farm-to-table means the table is actually at the farm and chefs prepare the meal right at the farm or in the field. However, given the rising demand for farm fresh or locally grown fare, the phrase “farm-to-table” has taken on a broader definition. The term now encompasses a direct relationship between farm and restaurant where a restaurant eliminates the middleman and buys directly from the farm, usually daily. In fact, many farm-to table restaurants now have a forager on staff to source the freshest, locally grown ingredients.
Farm-to-table dining began in 1999 when Santa Cruz, CA chef Jim Denevan started a series of roaming meals, called Outstanding in the Field. According to Visit California, his goal was to make a lasting connection between the public and California’s farmers, ranchers, and winemakers. The result has been a genuine farm-to-table experience where farmers and producers share meals and stories with diners.
As you may have guessed, California’s temperate climate and rich soil means plenty of fresh produce year-round, so it’s no surprise that there’d be several restaurants offering farm-to-table menus. Here is a sampling of true farm-to-table venues in Newport Beach:
Farmhouse Café – The newest addition to Newport Beach’s restaurant scene, Farmhouse Café (opening August 2016) will undoubtedly gain quick popularity among locals. Chef Rich Mead’s former restaurant was huge favorite and many have been waiting for his next venture. Chef Mead has teamed with Roger’s Gardens to create a sustainable field-to-fork dining experience. The open-air Farmhouse Café will source directly from local farms to offer seasonal ingredients for a fresh, healthy based cuisine.
Provenance – Largely known for its fresh and organic fare, Provenance prides itself as being seasonal, local and responsible. A true farm-to-table venue, the restaurant features ingredients sourced from its own 1,300 square-foot organic garden.
True Food Kitchen – This comfortable, eco-friendly restaurant pulls from local farms to create health conscious fare, including vegan dishes.
Great Maple – With its friendly ambiance and comfortably rustic interior, Great Maple is what you would expect a farm-to-table dining experience to feel like. Great Maple offers numerous items sourced from local farms.
Oak Grill– Located in the chic Island Hotel, Oak Grill is known mostly for its California cuisine. Although the restaurant does not call itself farm-to-table, it does offer several dishes that include locally sourced ingredients.
How can you be certain the food you’re ordering is truly “farm-to-table”? Ask which farms the venue is sourcing from, if you can’t get a clear answer then it may not be a true farm-to-table property.
Looking for the ideal group restaurant? Or do you need help finding the best property for your west coast meeting? Connect with Visit Newport Beach, as a destination specialist and partner; Visit Newport Beach has the knowledge and resources to help you secure the best fit for your group.