3 Farms, One Meal: Perennial Plate Feeds San Franciscans

Megan is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.

For the past year, online series Perennial Plate has been giving folks an inside look at adventurous eating and sustainable living in Minnesota. (Check out TakePart's coverage here.)

Now Daniel Klein and his vegetarian girlfriend and camerawoman, Mirra Fine, have hit the road to take the show national. Each week we check in to hear the latest.

This episode follows Daniel around the San Francisco Bay Area, where he visits local farms to find the best ingredients for a meal at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.

TakePart: You had a big crowd for this event. What do you like about feeding people?

tomatoes
(Photo courtesy of Perennial Plate)

Daniel Klein: I like the creative process and then seeing people enjoy the food. Coming up with a menu is always my favorite part—thinking about what will taste good but also what might be surprising and original. And then it's always fun to chat with people afterwards, hear their reactions, etcetera.

TP: What's the hardest part about cooking an all-local meal?

DK: I don't think there is anything difficult about cooking an all-local meal in California. It's a lot like cooking any other meal. When it's difficult is during the winter in Minnesota.

Coming up with a dish is like any other art—you use what ingredients you have to make the most enjoyable dish, or to express something.

potatoes
(Photo c/o Perennial Plate)

In California there are unlimited possibilities. But sometimes having too many choices can be a drawback. I suppose that's the only thing difficult about a cooking local in the Bay Area.

TP: You visited three different farms. Which was your favorite? What did you like about it?

DK: I didn't have a favorite as they were all so different. Riverdog is such a great example of a larger farm that has stayed true to its principles and continues to make an incredible project.

salad
(Photo c/o Perennial Plate)

At Sunny Slope, the fruit was like nothing i had ever had—truly game-changing apricots and plums. I hadn't tasted a real apricot until visiting that farm. And at Pluck and Feather, well, Esperanza was so kind and generous and it was cool to see the tiny space she had turned into a vibrant and productive garden.

TP: As always, we want to know...what's next on the Perennial Plate?

DK: I haven't edited it yet, but I think it will be about gleaning—taking otherwise unused/leftover farm product and bringing it to a free rehab center.

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