When we think about where and how to spend our money on food, a lot of us are drawn in by words like “free-range,” “sustainable,” and “ethical.” It’s no longer enough to just be “organic” and “farm-to-table.”
The modern home chef is a savvy connoisseur whose access to premium ingredients is easier than ever before. Not only will farms deliver to your door, it might be the same produce being served by the best restaurants in your town.
And in the rare case you can’t have it home-delivered, there are bound to be numerous farmers' markets in your area.
“Those goddamned markets. When the public got access to what only we could get before, we lost our bragging rights. We had to compete for products that made us special,” Loretta Keller, a San Francisco restaurant veteran, told Vanity Fair in a 2015 story about the ubiquity of farm-to-table dining across the U.S.
Of course there is nothing wrong and everything right about having access to an abundance of food.
It teaches us the value of an apple from Washington state and one from China. Perhaps we will enjoy the California avocado more than the Mexican variety, even if both are stellar and readily available. Or maybe next time you want a Big Mac, you’ll think twice about the provenance of that beef patty and instead get a burger made from cattle raised less than 100 miles away from you.
With this idea of putting an ultra-high premium on our food choices, we sought out restaurants that take their dining experiences a step further — those that not only create incredible food but also grow and raise the ingredients of these culinary experiences.