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Monday, 02 October 2017 21:53

Savor the Fall Season

Growing up, fall meant soccer games and collecting acorns. Starting out in the restaurant business, fall smelled like the burning hickory of the oven at Bottega and working football weekends in Birmingham AL. Professionally, fall was the memorable season when my first restaurant opened. During the fall of 2000, a perfect mix of quality culinary training and joyful disorganization pushed local, seasonal fall vegetables into the market. Well ahead of the national curve, long before there were “locavores” or “foodies,” Chattanooga became a place where it was OK to serve asparagus in October, but savvy diners knew better. After all, it’s the distinct seasons and change in the weather that helps to make Chattanooga so nice, and part of how we celebrate that is with the food we eat.chattanooga restaurant fall menu

At Public House, we have always prided ourselves in following each season with the food we serve. While modern growing techniques and transportation make it possible to serve a trendy item like brussels sprouts all year, we think it’s important to slow down and savor each season and celebrate the produce that defines it. Each fall, for a brief time, we reintroduce fall squash, a fall bean and fried green tomatoes. Tomatoes, freshly plucked from the vine before they ripen so they do not rot, are breaded, fried and served with a classic, Mississippi “comeback” sauce. Butternut squash, which is abundant from our local farmers, is carefully roasted with rosemary and thyme and then mashed with a drizzle of sweet honey. This fall, we are introducing slow-cooked, cranberry beans paired with smoky bacon and a hint of spice. Until the first frost tells us it is time to move to the winter crop, we celebrate the cool in the air, football on Saturdays, and a menu that indicates it is fall.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

TasteBuds Tour Teaches Chattanooga Farm-to-Table

The TasteBuds Farm TourTasteBuds Tour Teaches Chattanooga Farm-to-Table

We were pleased to sponsor the 2nd Annual TasteBuds Farm Tour along with Lupi's and Community Pie. We really think it's important for people, especially kids, to learn more about how and where our food is grown locally. Farm-to-table matters because fresh food tastes better and is better for you.

On some of the farms, the kids got to see cows, goats, rabbits, and bees up close, doing their part to sustain the food supply. Farmers offered up samples of their products and encouraged folks to bring coolers so they could take home artisanal honey, organic produce and meat, ornamental wildflowers, herbs, fruits, and more. There was something for everyone, from vegetarians to wine connoisseurs. Some picked a bouquet of flowers and sampled chestnuts.

The farms taking part were Appalachian Bee in Ocoee, Brady's Farm Direct Meat in Dayton, CoLyCo Farm in Chickamauga, Crabtree Farms in Chattanooga, Dazi Acres in Pikeville, Erma's Bees in Chattanooga, Farms of Avalon Rabbitry in Georgetown, Gifford Farms in Dunlap, The Healthy Kitchen in Dunlap, Lamon Farm in Cleveland, Lavender 'N' Rust Herb Farm in Rock Springs, Ga., Merryfield's Farm in Whitwell, Morris Vineyard and Winery in Charleston, Tenn., The Organic Man in Menlo, Ga., Pickett's Trout Ranch in Whitwell, Red Apple Barn in Ellijay, Ga., Red Clay Farm in Cleveland, Tant Hill Farm in LaFayette, Ga., Wheeler's Orchard & Vineyard in Dunlap, and Wildwood Harvest in Wildwood, Ga.

Several of the farmers chatted about sustainable growing methods and the challenges of keeping their family farms profitable within our country's ag system. They educated folks about soil management, pollination, and the importance of local growers to restaurants, food banks, grocery stores, corporate cafeterias, and school lunchrooms. Without their hard work, we'd be in a real pickle... without pickles!

Kids picking chestnuts on CoLyCo FarmWhat you find on these farms varies by the season as they work year-round to grow what we eat. Now that it's officially fall, they're working on their kale, lettuce, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, turnip greens, field peas, and more. Several of the farms work together to make it happen.

People on the tour were surprised to learn just how many varieties of their favorite items are produced on farms, as well as the techniques farmers use to efficiently grow and collect different products so they can affordably end up in the grocery store, at the farmer's market or on your plate here at Public House.

The TasteBuds in the name of the farm tour refers to the local food guide that's published twice a year and is considered the definitive guide to eating local in Chattanooga. It is available here at Public House and highlights the restaurants, food artisans, and farmers markets that source local ingredients. It's a quick reference for downtown eaters. Download a PDF version at http://growchattanooga.org/docs/Tastebuds_FALL2014_FINAL_lowres.pdf

We hope everyone who took the tour enjoyed it and learned something about local farms and the farm-to-table philosophy that Public House brings to Chattanooga dining.

For more information, visit http://growchattanooga.org/foodguide

Public House | 1110 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 | 423.266.3366
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