Farm to Table: Rebel Chef restaurant serves fresh, locally-sourced meat, produce
Farm to Table cuisine is being served up at local eateries by chefs who create the freshest in fine culinary creations.
Home cooks and chefs look to concoct the best entrees made with local produce and ingredients harvested from family farms.
In warm climates like California, the Farm to Table or Farm-to-Fork movements are a year-round affair.
"The Farm to Table food trend started in L.A. or California and the idea is to get your food within 20 miles," said Keith Russell, chef and owner of the new Rebel Chef restaurant in Farmington.
Russell worked for years as a budding chef in California before returning to his home state to start his food revolution by pairing international world flavors with American comfort foods. All across his restaurant, signs decorate the wall that say "farm to table" and "farmers market."
"In California, you have a longer growing season with the citrus and stone fruits, but we can still utilize our seasonal ingredients here," Russell said.
Rebel Chef plans its seasonal menu around sourcing only locally-grown produce, meats and eggs.
"I go with beef and chicken from local farmers," Russell said.
Choosing to eat with a focus on the Farm to Table may not be as hard as it looks. There are plenty of local farms close to buy eggs and meat year-round, in addition to shopping at the seasonal farmers market to scout the best produce in the spring, summer and fall.
Russell said he likes to cook in the Farm to Table way because of the incredible taste and health benefits from eating healthier and more organic. He also likes to support local farmers and build relationships so he can talk about the fresh produce and food that he is so passionate about cooking and serving up to his customers.
This summer since Rebel Chef opened, Russell has built partnerships with the local farmers who sell weekly produce at the Farmington Farmers Market each Thursday afternoon in the Farmington Mall off Highway 3.
"I can buy my squash and herbs and local jams and sausages for my cheese boards, and I can change up my seasonal menu depending on what I can buy from the farmers market," Russell said.
The Rebel Chef menu serves sausage from the local Elk Haven Farm nearby and apples and eggs from the Brand Farm in Farmington.
"We will keep expanding and find more farms to work with and we are going to grind all our own ground beef and we serve only the grass-fed beef from the Malecha farm in Northfield," Russell said.
Aaron Brand of Brand Farms delivers eggs to three Hy-Vee stores and to the Bourbon Butcher and Rebel Chef restaurants in Farmington. Now the 260-acre family farm is busy selling all varieties of Minnesota apples grown from orchards of the farm located in Farmington off Highway 3. The farm fresh eggs are sold at many metro farmers markets during the spring, summer and fall.
With a new flock of 2,100 Rhode Island red chickens, Brand said "I enjoy doing what I am doing and it is what gets me up every day, and I like hearing back from customers at the farmers markets and I enjoy working outside with my hands."
"My eggs are basically 24 hours or less old when go to farmers market or when they are sold off the farm at the grocery and you can't get them much fresher than that," Brand said.
When asked about the growing Farm to Table movement, Brand said "I think it will continue to grow because of everybody's interest in buying local and I could never see it going backwards but only moving forward and growing."