Over the past few years, a culinary movement called farm-to-table has grown in popularity within the United States. Supporters of this movement have dedicated themselves to making the American dining industry more eco-friendly by adhering to one basic principal: local sourcing. This practice calls for dining establishments to use locally grown vegetables, fruit and herbs, as well as locally raised livestock. When restaurants choose to purchase their ingredients from other states or countries, the transportation required to deliver these goods comes at a high cost to the ecosystem. By locally sourcing, restaurants drastically lower their fuel consumption and cut back on the harmful emissions that are produced by the planes and trucks used to move the ingredients cross-country. In addition to helping establishments leave much smaller pollution footprints, the Farm-to-Table movement boosts the local economy and betters the health of the diners it attracts. Produce and meats that are locally sourced are loaded with nutrients that their processed counterparts lack, and since they require minimal transport, locally sourced products aren’t doused in chemicals to keep them from spoiling in transit.
The farm-to-table movement began in California, but Miami has jumped on the local sourcing bandwagon. From coffee shops to steakhouses, the farm-to-table movement is finding a home in southern Florida dining establishments. Here are restaurants in Miami that adopted the farm-to-table mindset.
MOLOKO: Located in downtown Miami, this artsy coffee shop claims to elevate coffee drinking and crepe making to an art form. Moloko has a strong local sourcing policy that calls for the use of local ingredients whenever possible. In addition to local ingredients, Moloko is also a home to local artists, offering an in-house gallery where painters and sketch artists can display their work as well as countless opportunities for authors, poets and musicians to share their writing. Still not hooked? Moloko’s menu offers a unique and tantalizing opportunities such as build-your-own-gourmet-grilled-Cheese and their special Nutella hot chocolate.
EDGE STEAK & BAR: Found in the heart of Brickell, this steakhouse and bar takes local sourcing to an entirely new level by growing its own peppers and herbs on site. Head chef Aaron Brooks is a staunch supporter of the Farm-to-Table movement and offers an extensive menu of locally sourced proteins that ranges from classic steaks to scallops. “Our menu is healthy and approachable,” said Brooks when asked about his restaurant’s culinary philosophy. “We want our guests to feel satisfied without being overwhelmed. Edge is not just a special occasion destination, but a place to come back to again and again.” For the environmentally conscious diner who wants an upscale dining experience, Edge takes the farm-to-table movement to new heights.
THE NEWS LOUNGE: The highlight of the News Lounge is its weekend brunch. From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., this Miami café not only offers an organic brunch, but also brings in the local farmers who have grown the produce. This interactive experience turns the farm-to-table movement into a tangible and impactful reality. In addition to providing outstanding food, the News Lounge also offers catering and event hosting. The hosting is done on site in the News Lounge’s back garden, which contains outdoor pool tables, a fish pond, swings, and a bar. News Lounge’s daily happy hour offers $3 beer and $4 appetizers for those looking for a small group outing or a date night.
FLORIDA COOKERY: Located in Miami Beach, Florida Cookery offers diners the experience of a constantly shifting menu. Before his departure from Florida Cookery, Chef Kris Wessel traveled from one local farm to the next and selected the ingredients himself. Though he moved on to explore other parts of his career, his legacy and commitment to local sourcing lives on in Florida Cookery. Now, Chef Billy Boyle continues Wessel’s legacy and carefully selects the restaurant’s produce, meats and alcohols from local farms. Unique menu items include Slow Roasted-Everglades Wild Boar.
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