Who makes good food?
So here's a question - who makes good food, and I don't mean your mom, or your brother, I mean producers. Who are they as a group? What defines a good food producer - or a food purveyor?
This Thanksgiving I was privileged to sit at the table with Steve Sando, owner of Rancho Gordo beans. He is an earnest and sincere food producer and purveyor - he imports small crops of heritage varietals of legumes and propagates test batches of those beans. When he's got them right where he wants them, he works with farmers in Northern California and Mexico and Central America to do bigger production of these heirloom beans. A love of land, food, culture and the cycle of life influence the outcome of what is in-arguably a great product. Steve Sando makes good food.
In San Francisco, we're proud to have abundant farmer's markets and great food purveyors. Fatted Calf is on the top of my list for pasta, spices, juices, specialty salts and sandwiches, but most of all for meat. I don't mean regular butchery meats, I mean gold-standard of what meat should taste like, where meat should come from. Fatted Calf embodies an incredible respect for the life cycle of food production. Taylor and Toponia who own FC have been friends for over 7 years and I have never seen two people work harder or more diligently towards a goal and dream and I have been proud to watch their business grow. They are fastidious about quality, visiting the farms they source pork, beef, lamb and duck from regularly. After one recent visit to Kansas and Missouri this summer, Toponia told me about the living conditions of the pigs on a family farm. "Those pigs are cleaner than most children I've met - they're bathed daily." She remarked at what a life of attention and proper and intelligent medical care the pigs have. Taylor and Toponia know livestock and know the difference between what makes some of it good food and what it takes to make it great food.
Fatted Calf is a resource in our fine city for an abundance of foods: jams and jellies, exotic peppers and mushrooms, home made sauerkraut, pasta sauces, cheeses and I'm proud to announce that starting today you can also find Red Circle Tea gift sets on their shelves as well. The Shanghai, Hong Kong and Rare Asian tea sets are the exact same sets you'll find on line, and it's a great place to put together a gift basket for the food lover in your life. Head over to 320 Fell street this December and stock up for your self, and grab some great stocking stuffers for the foodies in your life.