Farm to (restaurant) table is a concept that is a huge hit with my psyche. I feel it is a wonderful extension of farm to home, and ensures that when we eat out or order in, then too we are sure of plating food that is intrinsically good for us. Plus, it is a fact that this way the food does taste different – more ‘healthily delicious’ if I may twist the phrase and use here. I remember eating some super delicious grub at many farm to table restaurants during my trips to California and Italy, and have been reading about similar restaurants now coming up in India, Mumbai in particular. Delhi sadly did not have a place like that till now, so last week when I ate at newly opened Pluck at Pullman in Aerocity, bang next to the airport, I could actually point out (with utmost glee) to what I wanted to eat at the restaurant’s in-house mini farm that was teeming with cabbages, lettuce, oregano, spinach, parsley, pumpkin and lots more and soon it was served to me farm fresh (pun intended). This mini farm located within the premises of the hotel is the restaurant’s way of offering the freshest, safest ingredients to the diners, and ‘if this means offering only a seasonal menu, than be it’ he says. Kudos to this thought. I am all for it, as I too believe that this is the right way to cultivate a healthy relationship with our table, be it at home or in a restaurant.
So basically to cut the long story short, on that day at Pluck I fancied lettuce and spinach and some parsley too from their farm, so the menu that landed on my table for lunch was fresh lettuce with a dip as a starter, a soup with parsley and oregano sprinkled liberally and an uber delicious spinach, mushroom and bacon salad, and as I sat eating it all, trust me I actually tasted health, and satisfied both my taste buds and soul. Good meal this one was, a kind I won’t mind having more often.
And there’s science behind the goodness of farm to table too. Firstly this way you can ensure eating organic food, and keep the toxic load down (and God knows we need to do that). Second it is as close to getting to live the way our ancestors did (pluck and eat, hunt and eat… get the drift) and they sure were far healthier than we are today. And thirdly most importantly research has proven that the less the time lapse between plucking veggies and fruit and eating, the higher the nutrient composition of that food will be. As time elapses, nutrients keep skimming off too. So basically this way (the farm to table way) you eat food the way nature made it – bursting with goodness, nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes. And who can doubt or contest the fact that ‘fresh’ definitely tastes better too.
I just wish more restauranteurs and chefs follow the lead. Worth a try definitely! Meanwhile, I took away some herb seeds from their farm and am now waiting for them to grow up (on my mini balcony farm) for me to be able to pluck them at will for my soups and sautés soon. You should begin your mini farm too.
Kavita Devgan is a Nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant and Health Writer based in Delhi. She is also the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico). She contributes to the column Kavita’s Korner every Wednesday for this blog.
Follow her on Twitter here: @kavitadevgan