You think that the green food movement is new. You think it’s a progression forward. You think you can only see it at farmers markets and Whole Foods.
While recently re-popularized, “slow” and “locavore” were how our forefathers and foremothers survived. Whether that meant buying and trading food and services with neighbors or producing all the food a single family needed, people consumed locally and, prior to the industrial revolution, they ate mostly organically. The farm-to-table, locavore, organic mentality is actually a regression, shunning technological advancements like genetic modification and chemical fertilization in favor of a cleaner, simpler method of farming.
Yes, the chefs at Boulder’s Black Cat and Denver’s Fruition are indeed kicking it old school.
In recent years, there has obviously been a general increase in sensibility about food consumption and production. And we’ve seen the result in grocery stores, farmer’s markets and restaurants from Oregon to North Carolina.
It’s especially true locally. Many Boulder County chefs are working hard to develop their vision based on responsible ingredients and practices. Here are some of the many restaurants that support a conscious, green agenda:
Black Cat Bistro in Boulder is one of the most impressive examples of the development of the farm-to-table trend. Chef Eric Skokan has created an organic farm to supply his restaurant with locally grown ingredients (he recently featured a Salad of Lettuces that Survived the Frost on the menu). Considering that he and a team of organic gardeners harvest a daily lot of produce for the restaurant, it is clear that he is extraordinarily committed to producing and serving conscious, high quality food. Even more revealing of his dedication to the ingredients is the fact that he participates in the Boulder Farmers’ Market and community supported agriculture shares, selling the produce that the Black Cat Farm produces.
Lucile’s Creole Cafe
Lucile’s Creole Cafe, with its four locations, has recently jumped on the green food wagon by buying its own farm as well. The Lucile’s farm, which goes by the name Rich Organics Farm, appears as a part of their continued investment in the quality and consciousness of their food and the environment. When in season, potatoes, spinach, jalapeños and much more will find their way to your plate.
Terroir Restaurant in Longmont has also illustrated its green agenda by using a number of local, organic farms and dairies to provide the produce for their restaurant. While this is a large part of the vision of the restaurant, they have expanded the concept to more than just the conscious sourcing of their food. The restaurant composts all suitable waste to Second Start Community Garden, recycles all fryer oil into biodiesel and recycles all glass, plastic, and paper products.
Many people believe that the reduction of carbon emissions is relegated to the realm of using public transport and energy production, but it is clear that the food world can aid in this reduction. And chefs have caught on to this idea. More and more restaurants are shifting to local and organic options when possible. Some even go so far as to start their own farms so as to maintain ultimate control over the methods used to produce the foods that they ultimately serve to awaiting customers.
It is clear that Colorado has been blessed with a number of tremendously conscious, green outlets for the aware eater. However, these three restaurants are but three of hundreds of restaurants throughout Colorado making an effort to be greener. Within Boulder County, there is the Eat Local Guide online at eatlocalguide.com/bouldercounty; it is a great resource that provides a guide and directory to eating consciously both in the home and outside.