Farm to Table

Fresh, Local & Fantastic Cuisine
By: Kristen Castillo

It may be a buzzword in the culinary industry, but Farm to Table is an established style that’s good to eat and good for the environment too.

So what is farm to table all about? It’s a movement to eat fresh, local and sustainable foods. That means planting, growing and consuming fruits and vegetables that are from the community. So eating strawberries from Carlsbad is the ideal, while trucking in berries from Arizona or oranges from Florida isn’t.

The benefits are obvious – healthy, fresh food that comes from and supports the local community and economy. Plus you’ll enjoy seasonal foods throughout the year instead of relying on food that was once frozen and may be full of preservatives.

Eisenhower Photography

Farm to Table Appeal

“This movement is great because you know exactly where your food is coming from,” says Christie Gowdy of
Culinary Concepts. “You know you are getting fresh, organic produce in a variety of colors and flavors.”

“An interest in clean living and avoiding processed foods is driving the farm to table movement,” says Jason Howard from Feast On This.

“Local food is fresher, healthier and more nutritious,” he says. “By spending less time in transit from farm to plate, fewer nutrients are lost and less spoilage incurs.  This results in better quality, taste and healthier options.”

Farm to table “puts the freshest in season produce in front of you,” says Eric Bauer,
corporate executive chef for
Festivities Catering, noting the concept, also called farm to fork grew in popularity in Northern California by chef and author Alice Waters of San Francisco’s Chez Panisse.

Quality Counts!

With a focus on quality food, farm to table can be a very selective and pricey. Still it’s often within budget since you’re using local, seasonal items.

“While mass imported crops are produced on a much larger scale, local farmers are often a smaller operation and incur more operating expenses,” says Howard. “Their crops are much smaller but, with this, come a superior product.  Small farmers pay special attention and take much pride in their craft so they ensure everything is top quality.”

San Diego is home to many farms, which are happy to be part of the farm to table movement.

“For smaller events, it is common to see our kitchen team strolling local farmer’s market buying produce direct from the growers,” says Howard, noting Suzie’s Farm is “an industry favorite.” (Both Festivities Catering and Culinary Concepts source from Suzie’s too.)

Recently, Festivities Catering has also sourced Chino Farms, Crows Pass Farms, Schaner Farms, Weiser, Scarborough, McGrath and Gloria Tamai, while Culinary Concepts has used Stehly, Sun Grown Organics and Be Wise Ranch.

In addition to buying from local farms and produce companies, many farm to table caterers also source micro beers and wines from local breweries and wineries, respectively.

Rave Reviews

Typically farm to table menus are based on the time of year and seasonal selections. For a recent wedding at a San Diego-area park, Howard and his team catered a farm to table style brunch.

“We served local made per order omelets and waffles with assorted locally grown fruits, vegetables, nuts and homemade whip cream,” he says, noting they served local sparkling wine and local pureed fruits (purchased from a farmer’s market) at a bellini bar. “Guests enjoyed mixing and matching local peaches, watermelon and assorted berry purees.”

Farm to table caterers work with couples to create a custom wedding menu.

“We source as much as we can locally and within California but sometimes a couple are looking for something that isn’t in season here so we need to look elsewhere,” says Bauer. “In the end its really going the extra mile for the client and getting them exactly what they want to make the day perfect.”

Even if you can’t source the entire menu in a farm to table fashion, try to incorporate as many local and seasonal touches as possible.

Eisenhower Photography

What’s in Season in San Diego?

Source: Suzie’s Farm

Throughout the year in San Diego, you can find lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, fennel and arugula. Still many items are at their peak during specific seasons.

Spring: Strawberries, onions, garlic, peas and artichokes.

Summer: Tomatoes, beans, peppers, zucchini, melons and summer squash.

Fall: Broccoli, peas, pumpkin, kale cabbage and cauliflower.

Sample Farm to Table Menus
Sample Summer Menu
Source: Festivities Catering
Appetizers: 
  • Summer Sweet Corn Soup, Mushroom Crisp, Spot Prawn Tartar, Carmel Corn
  • Fig & Goat Cheese Terrine, Rocket Lettuce, Iberico Ham, Aged Sherry, Candied Fennel, Pistachio
Main Entrée: 
  • Smoked & Grilled Pork Chop, Grilled & Sour Onions, Peach Mostarda, Almond & Orzo Pilaf
Dessert: 
  • Vassi of Lemon Curd, Olive Oil Citrus Cake, Macerated Market Strawberries & Candied Basil
Cocktail: 
  • Summer Strawberry & Lavender Mojito, Fresh Basil, Agave Syrup, Soda
Sample Menu 
Source: Culinary Concepts
Appetizers:
  • Deconstructed Baja Fish Taco
    avocado crema, cilantro, ancho chili  salsa, fresh tortilla chip
  • Caprese Skewer
    Fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, EVOO, balsamic reduction, sea salt, olive pistou
  • Marinated Sweet Pepper Bruschetta
    Goat cheese pesto – balsamic gel
  • Salad (Served with: Artisan Rolls & Butter)
    Raspberry & Goat Cheese
    Mixed baby spring greens and raspberries
    Goat Cheese, kettle roasted almonds
    White balsamic basil vinaigrette

Main Entrée:

  • Sustainable White Fish
    Pan seared local white fish with sunflower seed crust and tomato couli
  • Chicken with Mango
    Mango & red onion relish with chimichurri
Vegetarian & Gluten Free Option:
  • Stuffed Red Bell Pepper
    Red bell pepper, basmati rice & quinoa blend, grilled vegtetables & tomato coulis
  • Lemon Zested & Truffle Oil Fingerling
  • Potatoes & Chef’s Choice of Local Seasonal Vegetables
Dessert: 
  • French Macarons

Share

More Articles & Tips

May 9, 2024

How to Survive a House-Hunt as a Newlywed

By: David Haghighi – Above & Beyond Real Estate Group For all couples, house-hunting is fun. The thrill of viewing properties and envisioning owning them can be very exciting. Most of that excitement is conjured up by the thoughts of raising children,...

May 9, 2024

House Hunters

By: David Haghighi ~Above & Beyond Real Estate Group For all couples, house-hunting is a delightful experience.  The thrill of viewing properties and envisioning owning them can be very exciting. Most of that excitement is sparked by the thoughts of raising...

May 9, 2024

Destination Temecula

Say “I Do” To This Wine Country Hot Spot By: Kristen Castillo You don’t have to be a wine lover to fall in love with Temecula. Located in the southwest corner of Riverside County, Temecula is very close to San Diego. It’s a simple drive north on Interstate 15,...

May 9, 2024

Wine Country Twist on Wedding Trends

By: Jamie Puriton Flower Walls and Flower Curtains We cannot get enough of this trend! Feminine floral curtains are taking the place of plain old, fabric draping for ceremony arbors and backdrops. Combine the two, and you get an ultra posh option for framing your...

May 9, 2024

Ranch Weddings

By: Kristen Castillo Looking for a wedding venue that’s natural, beautiful and not standard in any way? Consider a ranch wedding where the venues have lots of open space, a chill vibe and photo opportunities you won’t believe! Still not all ranches are the same....

May 9, 2024

Wine Country Weddings 2014-2015

By: Guest Writer Jaime Purinton Have you been searching for the perfect venue for your wedding but can’t seem to find the one that takes your breath away? With the ambitious development of many amazing and unique wedding options in the Temecula Valley, located just...

May 9, 2024

Winery Weddings

Savoring Wine, Vines & Love By: Kristen Castillo Friends and family, a beautiful venue and a glass of wine in hand. For many couples, that’s the perfect wedding. Whether or not you love wine, a winery wedding could be ideal. With great weather, rich landscapes...

May 9, 2024

12 Month Planning Countdown

Holly Ireland Photography 12 Months Choose the date and time for wedding and rehearsal. Purchase San Diego Style Weddings Magazine and register on sandiegostyleweddings.com. Create a wedding email account. Create a wedding website on sandiegostyleweddings.com....

May 9, 2024

Using Technology to Plan Your Big Day

By: Kristen Castillo You’re connected to the world through technology. Phones, email and the internet provide so much content in our lives. Need a recipe? Look it up online. Want to connect with an old friend? Send her an email. Need to ask a colleague a question?...

May 9, 2024

Temecula Wine Country Wedding Insider

By: Jaime Purinton Have you been dreaming about having a romantic vineyard wedding but can’t figure out how to bring Napa to your backyard? Luckily for you, we have the inside scoop on a beautiful wine country right here in Southern California! Located just 45...

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR A DREAMY SOCAL CELEBRATION

Your Ultimate Southern California Wedding Guide

Whether you're looking for the latest trends in decor, themes, or floral arrangements, this section is your go-to resource for creative concepts that will make your wedding truly stand out.

Dive into this treasure trove of inspiration to find unique elements that resonate with your vision and elevate your big day to a masterpiece of personal expression.