Tessa Farm to Fork • Greensboro Tessa Farm to Fork is a welcomed addition to the dining scene in ever-growing Greensboro. You won’t find it downtown, but if you drive
Tessa Farm to Fork is a welcomed addition to the dining scene in ever-growing Greensboro. You won’t find it downtown, but if you drive due northwest toward Summerfield, you can’t miss it – the rustic exterior and homegrown produce and herbs out front are a sure sign. Walk inside, and you’re likely to see items on the special board such as fried heirloom tomatoes and fresh-caught seafood.
Tessa’s menu revolves around what local farmers have in season, and its specials change every day. In the spring, Executive Chef Caleb Smallwood did a “seed-share” with Smith Farms in Stoneville, where he chose seeds from a catalog for the farm to grow especially for Tessa. He also works with about a dozen niche farms that specialize in certain products, from salad greens to honey, and they source most of their protein from Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview.
Smallwood describes Tessa as “community-to-table” because they work with local farmers and nearby small businesses. “We try to do what we can to support people who are doing their part in the community as well,” he says.
3929 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro • (336) 763-1256 • tessagreensboro.com
Claire Haslam grew up in Saxapahaw, and had a vision to bring a community-centered, local-focused space to the small town. Eventually, The Eddy Pub was born, inspired by the sense of community surrounding European pub culture that Haslam and Doug Williams (husband and co-owner) witnessed when traveling abroad. “We believe that good food shared around a common table makes us happier people,” Haslam says.
When it comes to the menu, The Eddy tries to keep it as local as possible, usually within a 60-mile radius. A lot of the produce comes from Chef Isaiah Allen’s own farm, Rocky Run Farm, which he operates with his wife Whitney. The Eddy works with other farms in the area such as Braeburn Farm in Snow Camp, Peaceful River Farm in Chapel Hill, and Cane Creek Farm in Graham.
“We’re really trying to walk the talk of being farm-to-table,” Neubauer explains. “We have lots of farmers who come and drop off their produce and end up staying for a meal, and it’s nice to be able to say to customers, ‘Hey, you see that person over there? They grew that salad you’re eating.’ It helps bring that story together.”
1715 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw • (336) 525-2010 • theeddypub.com
Cassie Parsons, chef and owner of Harvest Moon Grille, understands the hard work that comes along with being a successful farmer; she is one herself. This gives her a unique perspective on the concept of farm-to-table, which she takes personally. She makes a point to work mostly with farms in Lincoln County to provide opportunities for them, and to supply her restaurant with only the freshest products.
Parsons receives deliveries from different farms daily, so the menu changes just as often. “We’re always trying to update the menu to keep it as authentic as possible for our guests,” Parsons says. This summer, Parsons is most looking forward to working with butter beans, which are her favorite. She is also working with a farmer who is growing pineapple tomatillos for her, which will bring a unique flavor to upcoming dishes.
Parsons is proud of the positive impact Harvest Moon Grille has had on the community surrounding it. “When it comes to the community,” she says, “we like to think about how we can find food that’s closer to us, fresher, and how we can keep supporting small farms that are sending their kids to school… And I feel good about that.”
Cassie Parsons is opening a new restaurant in Belmont with Pat Brenner of Rivermen Brewing Co. in August 2016 – make sure to stay tuned for updates.
331 East Main Street, Lincolnton • (704) 735-4199 • harvestmoongrille.com
Jim Stauffer, who has been Executive Chef at Halcyon in Charlotte for almost three years, takes a unique approach to farm-to-table. While most of his produce and protein is sourced from local farms around the area, he doesn’t limit himself to just one region. With a background in Italian and French cuisine, Stauffer likes being able to incorporate globally sourced products (such as cheese from France) with local products so that people can experience the comparison.
Stauffer makes changes to the menu almost daily, but as for a complete menu change, that happens about every six months to cater to either cool or warm weather. Halcyon has an in-house French baker that introduced such a great baguette recipe that it changed the whole face of their lunch business. “It’s impressive to see something so small make such a difference in your whole menu,” Stauffer says.
When working with farmers, Stauffer tells them to bring him whatever they have and he will work with it, rather than requesting specific items. It makes things easier for the farmers and allows Stauffer to make use of whatever is in season. “We’re not pushing any new cooking techniques here,” Stauffer says. “It’s just good, solid food that’s made fresh daily.”
500 South Tryon Street, Charlotte • (704) 910-0865 • halcyonflavors.com
When Leslie Philip opened the Thyme & Place Café in Southern Pines, she wanted to create a community between farmers, the restaurant, and its customers. “To me, that completes the farm-to-table cycle,” Philip explains. That culinary community also includes other chefs and entrepreneurs that rent Thyme & Place Café’s kitchen to make their own products. “I know what my struggles were [when] trying to expand, so if I can help people grow in their profession, then that is my offering to the community,” Philip says.
When Philip first started this endeavor, she wasn’t an expert baker. “I couldn’t bake my way out of a brownie box,” Philip jokes. But she soon taught herself how to bake in her own kitchen, and when she outgrew that space, that’s when she came across the property for her café. She hosts some of the best bakers in the area, and works with the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative to regularly keep up with local farmers and what they have available.
Thyme & Place Café is open for brunch and lunch, and has a vast selection of delicious treats in its bakery case. Philip is currently working on a new biscuit and sticky-bun venture, which she will be selling at her local farmers market.
155 Hall Avenue, Southern Pines • (910) 684-8758 • thymeandplacecafe.com
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