They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When asked to pick a photo for the web site’s header I began going through hundreds of food and farm pictures I’ve taken over the years. Should I have a picture of a prepared dish, picture of farm produce, a picture of myself or of a farmer? What would represent the true passion and drive behind this venture? The more I looked, the more I kept coming back to the picture you see above, the driveway down to one of our farm friends.This picture represents so much to me. It represents everything that steered career in the direction it has gone. The idea of working with farmers, working with the seasons, creating food that could give you a sense of time and place. The importance of connecting with the land and nature. As a young cook it was something that was important, even if I didn’t really understand those feelings at the time.
I took this picture one Thursday afternoon while heading to the farm to pick up my order. I always enjoyed the anticipation of seeing the most amazing produce and having the opportunity to create with it. If I was lucky, one of the farmers would be around and we’d talk food, the seasons, what’s growing, what’s not. I love being able to get to know the farmers, they have so much to share and so much to teach us. After talks like this the feeling of anticipation becomes one of gratitude. Gratitude for the hard work, sacrifice and dedication that goes into farming. I load my produce into the van, opening each box and marveling at its quality, colors, and freshness. Now I’m filled with excitement and inspiration. On the drive back to restaurant I am going through new dishes in my mind and how we’ll work this product into tonight’s menu. Back at the restaurant we taste, sample, and create. This is were we learn the greatest lesson of cooking “from the farm”, respect. Respect of the ingredient, being able to leave your ego off the plate and allowing the ingredients shine!
This picture represents every trip I’ve made to the many farmers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. It encompasses everything that I want to share with you through my take on “alimenti dalla fattoria” – “food from the farm”. I want you to feel the anticipation, the gratitude, the excitement, and respect that comes from eating and cooking locally, simply, and seasonally.