YUMA, Ariz. (KECY/KYMA) - As the Winter Vegetable Capital of the World and 93% of the country’s winter leafy greens coming from the area, Yuma is the perfect place to launch a vegetable tasting experience.
For this week’s Home Grown, we take a look at one restaurant participating in the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association’s event: Farm Fresh Forks.
You are probably familiar with the wine tasting experience, smelling the different aromas and tasting the different flavors.
Beyond the wine itself, the experience has become almost as important.
Yuma area vegetable growers believe what they grow has a place on a tasting plate, to be experienced in the same way.
I got to speak to the chef at Takos and Beer who says that he aims to include menu items that highlight local produce.
“This week the grower is 2M Sales, and they brought us asparagus and iceberg lettuce,” said Chef Eddie Guzman, with Takos and Beer.
Farm Fresh Forks offers locals and visitors an opportunity to taste the freshest, healthiest products grown with unique culinary twists created by area chefs.
“So we can add other ingredients to it, but we try to keep it the most fresh, the most produce as possible,” said Guzman.
For example, the Farm Fresh Forks item at Takos and Beer is a Roasted Asparagus Salad
with fresh mozzarella pearls.
Customers can try a free sample of the dish at dinner time until the program is over.
“Every week, almost every time, we make tacos, and we want to also show that we don’t just do tacos, we can make salads, burgers, sandwiches. We try to keep it very simple because we try to highlight the produce. We don’t want to hide the asparagus, the iceberg, the crispiness, so we try to enhance it a little bit,” said Guzman.
Vegetable tastings are a healthy experience that starts with fresh produce grown on a local, family farm infused with culinary expertise.
So how does it make a chef feel to see their name attached to this event?
“I believe as the chef, that’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Being able to see the produce that morning, they pick it and they bring it to the restaurant. That’s something that not every chef gets to have the luxury to work with,” said Guzman.
You can get a free cookbook by visiting their website farmfreshforks.com.
In conjunction with restaurant week, there will be a contest, to encourage people to get out and try local produce.
Simply visit a participating restaurant and order a featured item and take pictures of it.
Participating restaurants include Krausses, The Patio, Takos and Beer, The Patio, Mostly Muffins, The Garden Cafe, and Ironwood Steakhouse.
You can then share it on the Farm Fresh Forks Facebook page where you will be entered to win a $50 gift card to each of the 6 participating restaurants.
That’s a total of $300 in gift cards, all for simply supporting local chefs and farmers.