When it comes to food, Ryan Powers and Kevin Folan have the best interest of the community at heart. “When all around you food and wine are being grown, it enriches the community in a way that is immeasurable,” says Ryan, who owns and runs New Family Farm in Sonoma County with Adam Davidoff. “Children play at the farm, and the food grown there feeds the growing children.”
Kevin, who is all about simple ingredients and big flavors at The Proper Sandwich in Napa, strives to develop good reciprocal relationships with farms. “Using local food is our part in showing up for the community,” he says. “The strength of a community is the strength of its farms.”
We are excited to find out what micro-seasonal sandwich these two passionate individuals are bringing to the table at the upcoming Grazing at the Kitchen Table fundraiser.
Tell us about an experience working with a farmer or chef that has impacted you.
Ryan: The first time I had my food cooked by a chef was in Tennessee. I saw what I had as dirty and not of the best quality, but the chef at St. John’s restaurant transformed my food. In the field, I will see holes in the leaf or some kind of irregularity and think what I’m producing is not perfect. But chefs look at them and say they are awesome, and make me a great meal.
Kevin: I ate a warm tomato in the field and it was perfect in its imperfections. After that, I started looking for “ugly” food.
Ryan, what’s the one question you would like to ask a chef?
Ryan: How do you learn to combine things to make them taste good?
Kevin: When I was involved in a pig slaughter, it brought me to the verge of tears. I wanted to treat the animal with respect. Since then, I stopped trying to overwhelm food and work with it. We want to guide food to its natural goodness.
Kevin, what’s the one question you would like to ask a farmer?
Kevin: There are so many ways to get into food. Why did you pick the one that’s the hardest?
Ryan: Kitchen Table Advisors has been key in helping me address many difficulties, like hiring people and buying a tractor. I started a farm because I wanted to make a tangible connection between my body and my work, and creating a connectedness with the earth that I can share with my friends and my daughter. I am working in partnership with the earth and hopefully leave it better than when I found it.
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!