Sometimes less of a high-quality thing beats heaps of average. Take cheese, for example. For our farmstead feasts, we’ve learned to focus on using local, high-quality, European-style or artisanal cheeses.
Make farmers’ markets a priority on your travel agenda and you’ll save money (no admission fees), go green (most markets showcase seasonal, sustainable products) and support local (slap that cash directly in the farmer’s hand).
“It seemed obvious,” Scott Lynch says with a grin when asked why he and his family started La Fortuna Pizza, a mobile wood-fired pizza business based in Madison, Wis., that features local ingredients. But Scott’s not trying to be coy: “We have a passion for local food, love to cook and find a deep satisfaction in making people happy. Pizza brings these all together.”
Many farmstead chefs take the DIY mantra beyond the confines of the kitchen into the gardens. After all, the best-tasting meals start with the freshest, perfectly ripe ingredients.
What do we eat in Wisconsin during that long winter chill or for Super Bowl snacks? We eat our cheese, beer and brats all at once—in the form of soup.
Brenda Carus is on a mission to build community, one soup pot at a time. She and her family cook up reasons for people to connect over food by hosting impromptu “soup nights” during the winter months.
For most of us, winter brings four certainties: Catching up on sleep, completing tax returns, ordering from seed catalogues, and reconnecting with new or old farming friends farming conferences.
There’s nothing more enticing to the eye, nose and palate than eggs Benedict, especially when made with a couple slices of Canadian bacon and poached farm-fresh eggs with their nutrient-rich orange yolks. It’s a work of art on the farm-breakfast plate.
When we say we’re farmstead chefs, it means we operate from a kitchen that looks out onto a farmyard, not from a stainless-steel commercial kitchen with a cacophony of cooking gear and a fancy set of matching knives. We’re first to admit, we don’t even own a chef’s knife.
Using what we have in fall abundance, like those bushels of apples, in unique, tasty and frugal combinations—that’s what being a farmstead chef is all about.