There is no doubt that the San Francisco Bay Area is home to an ideal balance between local farmers, restaurants and consumers. One of the reasons this perfect balance does exist is due to the nearly ideal geographical layout of the Bay Area. From the cool climate of the Pacific coast to the dominating Central Valley, Bay Area farmers find themselves no more than a couple hours from one of the world’s greatest epicurean epicenters.
It is this advantage that provides our farmers the ability to deliver fruits and produce to both restaurants and the marketplace that were just harvested hours earlier. Having this close proximity has created a personal one on one relationship between chef and farmer. From the chef’s perspective you know the freshest, highest quality and largest diversity of fruits and produce are readily available at your fingertips. Creativity in the kitchen is never stifled; each day brings another adventure and sheer bliss knowing just how fortunate we are. A bond is created that even extends to the point where chef and farmer collaborate on a ‘personalized’ platform to meet specialized needs of the restaurant. In turn, chef’s and restaurateurs pay homage to these family farmers through recognition on menus and accolades when conversing with diners.
The next logical step is for diners then to search out these local farmers and their foods at weekly farmers markets and local grocery stores. It is this connection between the three that creates the perfect triangle, synergy that creates the ideal farm to table scenario!
The 4th of July holiday is really the beginning of the cornucopia of fruits and produce that explode into the Bay Area marketplace from local family farms. This is the time of the year to embrace stone fruits, berries, beans, first of the season corn, and squash. Now is the time for consumers to eat an abundance of these farm fresh items, to savor just how perfect and wonderful ‘in season’ foods can taste.
This too is the time of year that brings back fond childhood memories of quality time with my Mom and a few of the other neighborhood mothers, cleaning mountains of fresh strawberries and peaches. Their flavors captured in jams and jellies that would bring back smiles during the cold days of winter. Immediate gratification would come via fresh churned ice cream for the 4th of July holiday.
Take the time to find your local farmers, embrace their passion for life and their never ending dedication to deliver great food.