Farm to Your Table
With an abundance of local farms and farmers’ markets in the Raleigh area, the farm-to-table movement is thriving more than ever. In 1975, Irregardless Café and Catering was one of the first restaurants to adopt the philosophy of offering local, sustainable food. Today, ingredients at Irregardless are sourced from their “Well Fed Community Garden.” The garden uses organic practices to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers in addition to providing a home to eight chickens and two beehives. Hands-on workshops are also offered to educate diners outside of the restaurant about growing their own food.
Thanks to restaurants like Irregardless, the farm-to-table movement grew, and quickly, to include many chef-driven restaurants in the City of Oaks. Chef-owner Ashley Christensen was influential in supporting local producers at her first concept, Poole’s Diner in downtown Raleigh. With an ever-changing chalkboard menu featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as local meat products, diners are always interested to see what delicious dish will be offered next.
Today, many restaurants strive to use locally-grown products on their menu and some even have their own gardens or farms.
Crafted with ingredients from chef Sean Fowler’s farm, Mandolin is a charming restaurant taking American food to a new level featuring locally-grown ingredients. Standard Foods is another unique concept in downtown Raleigh using produce grown from Raleigh City Farm, which is housed next door to the restaurant; Standard Foods also offers a grocery section as well as a butcher shop featuring meat raised on local N.C. farms. Farm Table in Wake Forest is yet another neighborhood-friendly, farm-to-table concept thriving on the support of local farmers and partners. Farm Table uses their own herb garden in a craft approach to seasonal cooking and has a menu that evolves to utilize only the freshest N.C. ingredients.