Salt Fall/Winter 2014 - page 21

21
on the menu
by cinda chavich
On Vancouver Island, buying food
direct from local farms is more
than a seasonal trend for chefs —
it’s a year-round reality.
R
estaurant owner Michael Murphy
is a case in point. When dining at
any of his three Victoria restaurants
— Pescatores, Oyster Bar, 10 Acres Bistro
and Bar — you’ll find pork, vegetables,
and even honey on the menu, ingredients
delivered direct from his own Saanich
Peninsula farm — yes, his own farm.
“There are many farms in the region
but there are things we can do better
ourselves,” says Murphy of his decision
to create a farm dedicated to supplying
his city eateries.
“We cut 80 pounds of salad greens
a week and the quality is a definite
improvement.They’re cut first thing in
the morning and in here by 10 am. You
just can’t beat that.”
Beyond greens — and the cut flowers
that grace the tables in Murphy’s
restaurants — there’s top quality hard-
neck garlic, eggs from the farm’s free-
range laying hens, and colourful heirloom
beets. Murphy has free-range pigs to send
to market for the bacon and ham they
serve at 10 Acres Bistro and fruit from the
500 trees and vines he planted. Bees in the
three hives he’s acquired to pollinate his
crops produce honey. And when they have
organic waste, it all goes back to the farm
to compost.
“It all goes full circle; it’s a closed
system,” he says, proudly surveying the
10 acres where he lives alongside his farm
managers.
Dining
in the Know
The Island Chef’s
Collaborative (ICC)
aims to build a local,
sustainable food
system here on
Vancouver Island
by helping farmers
grow more food and
strengthening the
connection between
chefs and farmers.
Many of the Island’s
local-focused chefs
participate in the
ICC and are listed
along with links to
their restaurants
on the members
page in the “about”
section at
iccbc.ca
.
DOWN ON THE
FARM
Jeffrey Bosdet/Salt Magazine
The produce
Heather Verdin
of 10 Acres Farm
picks goes from
the farm to the
restaurant the
same day.
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