Farm to Table
Caramel-Lacquered Pork Belly with Quick-Pickled Honeydew
Chef Andrea Reusing in Chapel Hill serves pork from Eliza MacLean's Cane Creek Farm. Her Ossabaw pigs are descended from hogs stranded by conquistadors in the 16th century.
Shrimp-and-Chorizo Pizza with Escarole and Manchego
"I don't know if I invented this combo, but since I don't remember stealing it from anyone, I'll take the credit," says Michael Schwartz of his ingenious pizza topping of shrimp, escarole, tangy Manchego and spicy chorizo. He sources his ingredients from local producers, like the chorizo (the firm kind; the soft one would make the pizza too greasy) which is from Miami's El Palacio de los Jugos marketplace.
Panko-Crusted Veal Chops with Sorrel Cream
"I don't eat veal very often, but when I do indulge, I enjoy it," says Amanda Hallowell, who buys her veal from a local butcher shop that raises its cows on grass, the old-fashioned way. Here, she pan-fries veal chops in a panko crust and serves them with a tangy sauce made with crème fraîche and lemony fresh sorrel.
Pickled Beet Salad
Kenny Rochford pickles Chioggia beets from the winery gardens to use in his tasting room. They're perfect in a salad with parsley and fennel fronds.
Farmhand Salad with Goat Cheese
Chef Brian Lewis of Elm in New Canaan, CT, sends his staff to apprentice at a local farm for 16 hours a month. In return, Elm receives fresh produce, like the kind in this raw vegetable salad.
Carrots with Tahini Dressing
"I like the clean flavors in this dish," says Sam Mogannam of this incredibly simple side, which is as good with turkey as it is with steamed fish, roast chicken or pork. For his Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, Mogannam raises heirloom vegetables at his Sonoma farm.
Heirloom Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Succotash
"Succotash was one of those things I truly hated as a child. I grew up with the frozen kind—it was the lima beans I especially objected to," says chef Thomas Keller. That changed as he got older and started eating succotash made with fresh vegetables. Now he thinks limas are extraordinary. "One of the best things to happen to lima beans was when they started showing up fresh at farm stands instead of frozen in bags," he says. For a lovely presentation, he spoons his buttery succotash into hollowed-out heirloom tomatoes.
Horseradish-Crusted Roast Beef
To showcase deeply flavorful, locally raised grass-fed beef, butcher-shop owners Jessica and Josh Applestone make a simple roast beef using any number of cuts, including rib loin (prime rib), top round or a tied sirloin tip. The roast—deliciously crusted with horseradish and black peppercorns—is perfect hot out of the oven, but it's also amazing cold on a sandwich: Thinly slice the roast beef and serve it on white bread with horseradish mayonnaise and juicy tomatoes.
Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup
Sheamus Feeley loves to bake this moist cake at harvest time using Long Meadow's own Sangiovese grapes and grape juice, but any seedless red table grapes and unsweetened grape juice will work.
Zucchini Ribbons with Cranberry Beans and Pecans
Monica Pope (an F&W Best New Chef 1996) loves the organic pecans from Rio Grande Organics in Quemado Valley, Texas. She uses the nuts to garnish a salad of quickly grilled zucchini ribbons and creamy-fleshed cranberry beans. Pecan oil enhances the pecans' sweet flavor but the dish is equally delicious without it.
Skillet-Roasted Spiced Okra
Kevin Gillespie's cooking philosophy is simple: "We tell the suppliers to bring us whatever is best, and then we write the menu from there. It's like a jigsaw puzzle."
Tomato, Radicchio and Grilled-Peach Salad with Basil Oil
Portland, Oregon, chef Gabriel Rucker (an F&W Best New Chef 2007) swears by the heirloom tomatoes from Viridian Farms. Here, Rucker arranges the tomatoes under a salad of sweet grilled peaches with radicchio and tangy feta cheese.
Chicken Soup with Rosemary Matzo Balls
At Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, chef Dan Barber prepares this soup with seasonal chicken (raised in late spring, summer and fall), using wings, backs, necks and feet. His recipe yields almost eight quarts of broth, so there's plenty to freeze. He likes serving the soup with fluffy matzo balls laced with rosemary.
Garlic-and-Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin Roast
At Montagna, chef Ryan Hardy uses ingredients from his own nearby organic farm. This dramatic roast was inspired by a street vendor in Siena, Italy. "It changed the way I thought about food," he says. "It was fatty and sweet, spicy and succulent, smoky and salty—all at the same time." Hardy uses the rub on other kinds of pork cuts, including the shoulder and leg, but the bone-in pork roast is the most dramatic; he often wraps a piece of pork belly around the side to make the meat extra juicy.
This pretty salad from Alice Waters, the iconic chef-owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, is best in the winter, when grapefruit is at its prime.
Poached Plum Tart
Nina Planck believes in eating "real" food in its purest, least-processed state, including unpasteurized whole milk with a thick layer of cream on top. She makes this elegant, juicy custard tart with fresh butter, eggs, milk and—when they're available locally—sweet, firm Green Gage plums.