Carlstadt, NJ (PRWEB) January 02, 2014
The dining scene in New Jersey is ever-changing, but as food trends come and go innovative chefs are embracing the move toward “green” cuisine – that is, cuisine with a focus on local sourcing of ingredients, environmental sustainability and nutrition. At Carlstadt-based Terre à Terre, Chef Todd Villani works with farmers, artisan food producers, food distributors and purveyors within a 300-mile radius to deliver a “local” dining experience.
“Increasingly, farm-to-table is taking on a whole new meaning,” says Villani. “For those in the New York and New Jersey area, it means the farm is in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or a bordering state and is not some farm clear across the country. That’s important because it helps reduce our carbon footprint and ensures that we’re eating fresh foods. But moving product from our farms to the dining table takes hard work and a willingness to collaborate with those who produce our food in a way that hasn’t been done before,” observes Villani.
While New Jersey doesn’t have some of the established infrastructure necessary to move product from farm to table – at least relative to some of the neighboring States – it’s clear these visionary chefs and restaurateurs like Villani have their fingers on the pulse of what people want. According to its newly released culinary forecast, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) predicts that sustainable food is poised to hit the mainstream in a major way.
But just as sustainability grows in momentum, New Jersey still ranks among the lowest in the country in its consumption of locally produced foods. “As the Garden State, we have the opportunity to change the way we eat by supporting and preserving sustainable, local food production. Throughout the region we have a committed group of farmers, food artisans and distributors who are making locally sourced cuisine a reality.”
Terre à Terre works with a number of visionary farmers and food producers paving the way for a more sustainable local food system. Here is a small sampling of those farms and producers Terre à Terre has worked with in 2013.
Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse
Bobolink owners Nina and Jonathan White, who run the Hunterdon County farm, have been not-to-quietly raising grass-fed beef, pork and suckled veal in addition to a nice selection of cheeses. They have been featured in Gourmet magazine; Anthony Bourdain taped an episode of "No Reservations" on their farm; and food activist and author Michael Pollan served their cheeses at his book party for The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Blue Moon Acres Farm
Blue Moon Acres Farm is a family affair. Supplying Terre à Terre with its micro greens and organic baby salad greens, the farm occupies a 63-acre Certified Organic farm on agriculturally-preserved land in Pennington, New Jersey. The farm operates with an ever-increasing focus on sustainability via the use of bio diesel farm equipment, and geothermal heating and cooling techniques.
Located in Central New Jersey, Fernbrook Farms has been a family farm for three generations. In addition to the farm, they run a nursery, historic bed and breakfast, and year-round educational programs. The farm uses natural farming methods never using chemicals, insecticides, or herbicides.
Based in Vineland, NJ, Marolda Farms is owned and operated by a husband and wife team. They use natural, old-fashioned techniques to control pests and combat disease – by rotating crops and seeding cover crops.
Terhune Orchards is on preserved farmland in Lawrence Township in Central New Jersey. With almost 200 acres, the farm grows 30 varieties of apples. The family that owns the farm is a 10th generation to farm full-time in Central NJ.
Mosefund Farm, based in Branchville, NJ, is now one of a handful of farms that raises Mangalitsa pigs in the United States. Mangalitsa is a rare heritage breed renowned for its superior fat quality, incredible concentrated flavor, and marbleized meat.
Crescent Duck Farms
Long Island, NY, has been famous for its duck farms since the late 1800s, when the first creamy-white Pekin ducks arrived from China. As fate would have it, the area's humid climate, sandy soil and free-running water provide the kind of conditions ducks need to grow up vigorous and stress-free.
Long Island Duck had a heyday in the 1930s, when it became a delicacy for chefs around the world, and it was in this period that the famous Big Duck of Flanders, NY was constructed. By the 1960s, there were still more than 60 duck farms (which produced more than 60 percent of the nation's ducks) thriving on a swath of Long Island between Peconic and Moriches Bays. Since that time, most duck farmers have found it more economical to sell off farmland as real estate, making Crescent Duck Farms one of the last remaining duck farms operating in the region.
The Rosenkrans’ family has been raising cattle for over 40 years along the banks of Lake Cayuga in the Finger Lakes region of New York. This particular micro-climate of the Finger Lakes Region where the Rosenkrans have their farm constitutes an idyllic location to produce exquisite Grass-fed beef. The Rosenkrans call their cows “The Black Baldies,” a blend of Black Angus and Polled Hereford cows. This cross breeding creates beautiful marbling and tastier meat. The cattle are sustainably and humanely raised and never introduced to antibiotics or growth hormones.
La Belle Farms
La Belle Farms is located on a 43 acre farm in Sullivan County, NY. The farm has been in operation for 10 years and is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States. La Belle uses Moulard ducks which are a cross between a male Muscovy and a female Pekin duck. A vertical system of production means that La Belle Farms controls all aspects of the production – from growing their own grain to hatching the ducks to processing the birds in a USDA inspected processing plant. This ensures quality and integrity throughout the duck production. La Belle Farm raises their ducks humanely and without ever introducing antibiotics or growth hormones to the process.
About Terre à Terre
In creating Terre à Terre, translated as down to earth, Chef Villani brings many years of restaurant experience working for some of Manhattan’s top restaurants, including Marcus Samuelsson’s renowned Aquavit restaurant and at his subsidiary interest, World Yacht, combining simple fresh foods with a creative blend of exotic flavors and ingredients – his signature approach to preparing foods with an international flair.
With nearly 50 seats and a private dining area, the Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course gourmand tasting menu, Terre à Terre provides dining from Wednesday through Saturday 5:30 – 10:00 and on Sunday for brunch 11:00 – 2:30 p.m. In addition to private parties, the restaurant also does catering.
Terre à Terre is located at 312 Hackensack Street. For more information, or to learn more about the farmers and artisans supplying Terre à Terre, visit http://www.terreaterre.biz. The restaurant takes reservations online at http://terreaterre.biz/reservation/ and by phone at 201.507.0500.