It seems like everywhere you turn these days, another restaurant is introducing its ‘farm-to-table’ menu. In a current Eater article, the author spotlights a few American restaurants that are actually operating working farms that provide food for their eateries.
One of these restaurants is Blenheim restaurant located in New York City. After experiencing difficulties with finding the quality ingredients they were seeking, the restaurant’s owners purchased a 150-acre farm where they now grow and raise an assortment of products that they utilize regularly at Blenheim.
At the Blenheim restaurant farm, chickens are raised for egg production, and pigs and sheep are also raised on-premises. Cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes and herbs are grown at the farm, as are bees. The farm has even created a special blend of salad greens, that is grown from two different types of salad green seeds that are harvested together.
The Eater article mentions how New York City’s Rosemary’s restaurant has expanded from rooftop gardening to purchasing a working farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. Their farm is now producing Brussels sprouts, potatoes, arugula, broccoli rabe and eggplant.
A shining example of a truly successful farm-to-table dining experience would have to be the Belcampo chain of restaurants with attached butcher shops. Based in California, the Belcampo Meat Company maintains several full-service restaurants in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.
With a 24,000-acre ranch producing organic premium, grass-fed beef, Belcampo not only supplies beef to its own restaurants, but it also sells meat online and to stores.
While these restaurants are able to eliminate the middleman in acquiring needed meats, dairy and produce items, the cost of operating these farms can run quite high. The overall costs are higher than if they were sourcing products from food suppliers, but the owners can have the satisfaction of being able to source the exact ingredients that they are seeking.
These restaurant owner/farmers are helping to prove that sustainable food production can work well. Although it is hard to turn a profit with such endeavors, the restaurants’ customers are happy with the flavor and quality of the foods they eat at these establishments.