David Chen of Zoe’s Garden (left) shows off crops to visiting journalists and chefs.
Restaurants have always been revered for the rarity of their groceries. These days, instead of seeking out the most exotic ingredients and jetting them in from the far side of the world, chefs are earning cachet by shopping close to home, and sometimes even getting their own hands in the dirt. Just take a look at the menu—eggs from Tifie Ranch, honey from Slide Ridge, greens from Zoe’s Garden. Diners are seeing farmers’ names on fine restaurant menus, and chefs are heading out into the fields to watch—and often work—the growing food that comes into their kitchens. Seeds planted last spring are coming into full fruit now in early fall, the height of Utah’s growing season.