Pick TN Farmer Restaurant Alliance
New Pick Tennessee Farm and Restaurant Alliance Help Farmers and Chefs Get Together
“Farm to table” has been a thing for a number of years now. Chefs want to use locally grown and produced foods at their peak. But getting the farm to the table can be a challenge. It seems like a match made in heaven, but the pair must first find each other.
Enter Pick Tennes see (PickTN), matchmaker to Tennessee foodies for thirty years. Through their new Farm and Restaurant Alliance program, the door is open for farmers and chefs to connect.
One such success story is James Beard Award-winning Chef Tandy Wilson at City House and local farmers Tally May of Turnbull Creek Farm and Tana Comer of Eaton’s Creek Organics. Each Monday, the three convene in the City House dining room to “talk shop” in a graceful dance that pushes and pulls throughout the year, creating a relationship that benefits the land, the farmers, Tandy’s kitchen, and the diners.
“It’s been a rewarding journey,” Tally notes, commenting on the natural partnership. For example, as demand for City House’s dishes increased, Chef Tandy found himself needing more produce, especially through the winter months. However, to meet that demand, Tally needed another hoophouse, an expense beyond her reach. For Chef Tandy, the solution was simple. He made the purchase and, with his City House crew, put it up. Having that dedicated hoophouse made all the difference in Tally’s world.
Tana nods, “Tandy and his crew have been there for me, too. They’ve helped me update my hoophouses. I’ve been able to expand my operation.”
“I’m no saint,” Chef Tandy admits. “But I love what they grow. Why would I want to buy from a produce broker, when I can work directly with the farmers?” That has brought about a shift in his culinary approach, one in which vegetables have taken center stage. For a chef known for his hog-happy, snout-to-tail cooking, that’s huge.
“It’s kinda funny,” Tally grins, “good ol’ boy, pork-lovin’ Tandy has two vegetarian female farmers watching his back!”
But you don’t have to be a farmer or a chef to participate in the think local, eat local movement. Starting this summer, Pick Tennessee helps you easily locate restaurants committed to using local products. A growing directory of food businesses sourcing produce from our area has been added to Pick Tennessee’s site and is also available via their mobile app.
Lonely farmers and chefs still seeking a local connection can go to PickTnProducts.org and click on “About Us” to find an application.
1222 4th Avenue North
Nashville TN 37208
TURNBULL CREEK FARM
566 Doug Hill Road
Bon Aqua TN 37025
EATON’S CREEK ORGANICS
5570 Eaton’s Creek Road
Joelton, TN 37080