It seems like common sense that any Charleston breakfast cafe would technically be able to call itself farm-to-table. After all, food has to come from a farm at some point before it ended up in a commercial kitchen, right? While yes that is true, any salad you buy from any restaurant will have come from a farm at some point, it doesn’t mean that any restaurant can call itself farm-to-table. We realized that not everyone may know what the term really means, so we made this post to clarify what farm-to-table exactly is.
Freshness Matters Most
In the most simple sense, farm-to-table dining experiences mean that the restaurant has put an emphasis on serving the freshest foods possible. This means that the business has made a commitment to making all of the food in-house. Where many other restaurants may look for ways to speed up production by incorporating processed foods into its dishes, farm-to-table restaurants commit to using only fresh products to create a dish in-house from start to finish.
This is good news for anyone trying to eat clean, as it generally means that just about anything on the menu is going to be free from preservatives or the unhealthy qualities of processed foods. When it comes to breakfast foods, as is the case with breakfast cafes, this can be especially hard. Finding locally sourced meats and produce can pose a challenge, but many farm-to-table restaurants are determined to make sure it happens in order to maintain a carefully curated restaurant brand.
Relationships With Farmers
Most restaurants rely on food distributors to be able to get their food ingredients delivered right to their door, all at once. This often allows for cheaper menu prices, but can compromise things like freshness or knowing where the food is coming from. Farm-to-table emphasizes the relationship that the restaurant owner has with a local farmer or meat processing company. This can often mean fresher ingredients, as the food is often hand-picked from the restaurant’s owner or chef themselves.
While close relationships with the farmers often means that food is being sourced locally, it still has to pass the same level of inspection that larger food distributors are subject to. Any food that’s sold commercially in the United States is subject to the same standards put in place by the Department of Agriculture. With that being said, farm-to-table dining doesn’t mean that you have to worry about the standards of the food that’s being served on your plate.
Many people like the idea of being able to trace their food back to a local source. Farm-to-table restaurants also provide the advantage of being able to financially support local farmers. This is important because many local farmers have found themselves struggling to compete with larger food distributors within the United States. This type of business style gives restaurants the ability to support other local businesses while offering something special of their own.
You’ve probably found that quite a few restaurants and Charleston breakfast cafes have emphasized the importance of a farm-to-table experience. Restaurants like The Park Cafe, for example, wanted to be able to support local farmers while delivering the highest quality ingredients in the dishes. Every dish that we prepare is made with love, and we felt that curating a true home-cooking experience meant going the extra mile and finding locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.