After five years of working directly with farmers to create inspired cuisine in rural Virginia, we have kept our connection with the earth in the midst of Chicago by developing a relationship with a 20-acre farm an hour south of the city. We are excited to collaborate again with growers – this time with The Farm, operated by Master Gardner Rebecca Papineau and her husband, Alan. The Farm is the source for much of our produce, herbs and flowers, and is a family’s labor of love: Rebecca and Alan have been farming and gardening together for more than 40 years and are now joined by their son, Elliott.
"The Farm: The Place—20 acres an hour south of the restaurants—and The Farm: The Idea—growing and gathering for Smyth + The Loyalist, often blend into a singularity. The Farm provides everything we grow to Smyth and informs the menu to drive creativity. This is in direct contrast to many other chef and farmer relationships in which the idea of a dish comes before the seeds are even planted. The Farm has over 200 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs with the goal of being a natural pantry for Chef John Shields. We have the luxury to fail." —Elliott Papineau, The Farm
Here are a few of the things I’m excited about this time of year:
—Tomatoes. There is nothing like the first taste of summer!
—Cucumbers. Many different varieties of cucumber are planted at The Farm. Some types Chef John don't even know about. The guests and the chefs can expect some surprises!