Mutual respect makes good partnerships and that dynamic is obvious between Kevin Watt and Sophina Uong, who are teaming up to create an outstanding duck dish for the upcoming Grazing at the Kitchen Table fundraiser. “We’ve been working with chefs since we started. These chefs really value and understand what can be done ecologically and culinarily,” says Kevin of Early Bird Ranch in Pescadero, who believes that protecting the environment creates a healthier and tastier piece of meat.
“Kevin does it right, his practices are sound and healthy for the animals and for the people that cook them and eat them,” says Sophina, who sources locally for Revival Kitchen + Bar. “I want farmers to see that their products have been treated with respect and creativity all the way to the table.”
How do you support the local food system in what you do?
Kevin: A big part of why we focus on poultry is because they are omnivores, which have a simple digestive system that reflects the taste of the pasture. The depth of flavor and texture shine through when you give these animals a wonderful life and a high-quality diet. Tasting that flavor is transformative. It gives people a tangible, non-abstract way to protect biodiversity. Sustainable food needs to be win-win-win for the farmers, land and consumers.
Sophina: As a chef, it’s easy to be inspired by the incredible foods grown by our local purveyors. When a small ecosystem and a local economy are in sync, it generates goodwill, respect, and we get the best stuff! Locally produced food doesn't lose any of its vitality in transport. It's as close to feeding people out of my own garden as I can get.
Kevin, how have you benefited from working closely with chefs?
Kevin: The chefs that we’ve worked with have introduced us to new ways to taste our products through new techniques and using new parts of the animals. We would not have known about the amazing flavor and value of organ meat otherwise. A well-raised animal will have a ruby liver with beautiful fats. This helped us understand how unique our offering was and what good energy we were offering to the community.
Sophina, what makes a good meal?
Sophina: A good meal is served with an ice cold gin martini, shared with loved ones and colleagues; fresh, creative, and involves both comfort and a little surprise.
Grazing at the Kitchen Table takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at Dogpatch WineWorks, San Francisco. Early bird tickets are $150 and can be purchased here (available until August 27th). Click here for more info and follow #GrazeAndGive2015 for updates!