F E A T U R E S the the Birds Bees... &
...and the cows and the sheep and the pigs...
are down on the (restaurant) farm.
By Laura Taxel
Farm 255, in a joint venture with a fifth-generation family farmer, raises cattle, pigs
and chickens that provide meat and poultry
to the restaurant.
IT’S BECOME ALMOST
commonplace for chefs to stock their
kitchens with products from local farmers
and artisans. Many have even become
growers themselves, tending small
gardens or multi-acre spreads. But a
small and intrepid bunch is going one
step further in farm-to-table sourcing by
taking ownership of the animal side of
supply their restaurants with meat, eggs,
dairy products and honey. Their efforts
take the notion of hands-on to a whole
new level, adding another dimension to
the concept of made from scratch.
WHEY OUT THERE
At Fruition, the Denver restaurant he
opened four years ago, Alex Seidel uses
fresh sheep’s milk ricotta in cheesecake,
cavatelli dough and a savory flan served
with an asparagus salad. What makes this
worth a mention is that he’s raising the
ewes—85, at last count—and making the
cheese on 10 acres he bought south of
the city in 2009.
These do-it-yourself chefs are involved
in raising livestock, poultry and bees to
Those who go this route are dedicated to
the principles of sustainability. It isn’t the
easiest or most economical approach,
requiring space, time, know-how and
often, extra help. But those who’ve made
the commitment—and it’s a serious
one—say there are big rewards.
“We’ve got a milking barn, creamery and
aging cave,” says Seidel, one of Food &