Farm-To-Table Movement is Not a New Recipe for Success

Junto in Chadds Ford prefers ‘modern farmhouse.’

In chef MacGregor Mann’s opinion, the term farm-to-table is played—if it ever was truly apropos. “I mean, technically, every restaurant in the world is farm-to-table somehow,” Mann says. So let’s put a finer point on it. He describes his new Junto in the Olde Ridge Village Shoppes of Chadds Ford as “modern farmhouse,” meaning food is locally sourced and seasonal, of course, but also inspired by “anyone who ever lived off this land before us,” from the indigenous Lenape to the Pennsylvania Dutch to his farming great-grandmother. Part of it is about eating healthfully with minimal environmental impact—he’s dismayed by the ways chemicals and genetic modification of seeds have changed farming and food—and part of it is about having fun. “We’re trying to use stuff you would have found here in abundance 100 years ago,” from the Chesapeake to the Hudson, Mann says. One spring menu featured a salad of root vegetables—pickled kohlrabi, sunchokes, radishes, cipollini scallions and beets with hominy hummus and kefir ranch dressing—hasenpfeffer and grilled sturgeon. That’s as local as it gets. If anyone has earned the right to redefine a trend, it’s Mann. A former chef de cuisine at Philly’s Amada—part of the esteemed Jose Garces group of restaurants—he went on to work at Noma in Denmark. Named the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Noma is similarly inspired by its landscape. “We’re trying to move forward, eat in a more wholesome way,” Mann says. “We’re also trying to take a step back and going slower.” (484-574-8041, juntobyob.com)

 

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