Farm-to-table has become the ultimate food trend of the year. And for some restaurants, the path from farm to table is quite short—we highlight 11 restaurants from Seattle to Maine that are growing their produce for their recipes on their roof, in raised beds, in recycled tires, and in aeroponic towers for fresh, delicious, and truly local and seasonal cuisine.
"The farm dictates what we do in the kitchen," says Dan Barber, owner and chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York. In 2004, Barber and his crew had the opportunity to take over an old Rockefeller estate 25 miles north of New York City. They turned the land into a nonprofit farm with greenhouses, livestock, an education center and a world-renowned restaurant.
"At Blue Hill at Stone Barns, there are no menus," Barber explains. "Instead, we prepare multicourse tastings based on the day’s harvest. Each table receives different courses, which allows for a lot more creativity and spontaneity in our cooking."
The broad diversity of crops at Stone Barns includes more than 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, and the farm is operative year round. "One of our goals has been to produce more and more food between fall and spring through the use of low and high tunnels outside as well as our minimally-heated greenhouses," says Jack Algiere, Stone Barn’s vegetable farm manager. Most importantly, he says, "we love to eat what we grow." Tours of the 70-acre property are available and encouraged.