The term Farm to Table may be one that rings a bell to you or it may be something you’re not all too familiar with. Here in the Atlanta restaurant scene, Farm to Table is a phrase that many have started getting used to. The name essentially tells us what we’re getting but it doesn’t quite define the community that keeps this tradition alive nor the power of its movement. So let’s take a closer look at exactly what Farm to Table means in the city of Atlanta and what this means for chefs, local Atlanta businesses and of course you, the customer!
You may recall TRACE Atlanta’s January post when we interviewed 10 Atlanta Food Experts and got their two cents on what Farm to Table means to the city and what trends we could expect this year. We received amazing interviews from a number of food specialists such as Thaddeus Barton, Nick Quinones, TRACE at the W Atlanta - Midtown Executive Chef Shean Suter and many others.
From Free Range Chicken to public recognition of organic vegetables, food experts had more than a mouthful to say about the benefits of the Farm to Table movement. But what stood out as the common topic throughout each interview is that it’s now being considered more of a necessity than a luxury. Often times a higher price tag that accompanies your meal is expected due to the overall experience of customer service, food presentation and décor of the restaurant. But in Atlanta many are beginning to argue that local is not only a trend but it is the wave of the future and it’s easy to understand why.
Many believe that the farther you are from the source of something, the lower the overall quality of your experience. For the most part this tends to be true. But when it comes to the food we consume each day, this phrase is not only true but it’s almost scary to think about exactly what takes place before your food touches the table. CreativeLoafing.com wrote an article concerning the Farm to Table movement in Atlanta and had this to say.
It seems that a lot of chefs around town are starting to take the locally-grown idea pretty seriously. Eater reports that many big-name Atlanta restaurants are starting to create their own gardens on the restaurants' premises. From herbs, and spices to fruits and vegetables, the chefs at these restaurants are dedicated to bringing their guests the freshest ingredients.
That article was written back in 2013. Since then, the Farm to Table movement has taken off even farther across the United States but especially here in Atlanta. Chefs across the city are focusing on bringing the freshest of meats, dairies and vegetables to consumers all coming from farms located in Georgia. But a quick look at Georgia agricultural history and it’s no surprise why Atlanta’s food scene is pro-organic. Since the early 1700’s Georgia has been a leader in farming and feeding this great nation. Foods such as apples, corn, cabbage and of course peaches are known to be farmed locally in Georgia. As the years passed, Georgia became a leader for peanuts, pecans, beef, poultry and eggs with farm production expenses totaling more than 4 billion dollars as we crossed over into this latest millennium.
So what does this mean for you, the consumer? It means that not only are you experiencing a better quality of food at many Farm to Table restaurants but that you can count on things to improve as time goes along here in Atlanta. Georgia’s Agriculture is now a 72 billion dollar industry that contributes to the constantly flowing economy here. For those of you interested in knowing more about the farming and agricultural life in Georgia we encourage you to take a look at the websites for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Organics website.
Executive Chef Shaun Suter stated that Farm to Table was not a trend but a culture…and he’s absolutely right! This culture is one that has been adopted by those who pride themselves on delivering an outstanding product and stand behind what they serve. We at TRACE, at W Atlanta ¬– Midtown, are not only proud to be a Farm to Table restaurant but hope to showcase to our visitors just how important how much of a difference our food can make.