Last week I was visiting our team at Best Buy, in Minneapolis MN. During my walk thru of the servery with Sous Chef Erik, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful coloring on the pork tenderloin being carved ,to be served on a tossed salad. I learned that pork came from a small local farmer. While I am not a big pork eater, I had to taste. Yum! And I really should have been surprised but I couldn’t help pushing my plate in front of my peers for them to enjoy bite of this succulent food. Once again a testament to the wonderful flavors local farmers can bring to our plates.
That small farmer happened to be delivering his weekly stock that day and we had a chance to have a nice chat. Our team buys the entire animals from him. They manage their inventory in such a way that they will menu items like ribs or tenderloins when they have enough in place. It’s much more difficult to run a large operation when you are dealing with a number of smaller operators who can only deliver a certain amount of products. Its not as easy a opening an order book and calling-in your ingredients. Our chefs have to understand the nature of farming and the limitations of small farmers. But our chef also know the great flavors that result from this extra work.
And by the way, the other result is knowing that you are directly supporting a hard working farming family. Erik told me that, during the holidays, this farmer had come by with his wife and children in tow to thank us for doing business with him. For the first time, they were able to buy Christmas gifts for their kids.
TUG! If thats the case, let me eat more pork from more small farmers!
marc a zammit: director culinary support and development