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. 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 neighbourhood 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 also 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 travelling 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 use 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, USA)Founding Farmers (Washington, DC, USA)

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