These dining concepts have become highly acclaimed in the culinary world throughout the 2000s. However, the history of farm-totable actually dates back to the ‘70s in the U.S. — but seeing as all meals used to come directly from land to table, you could say its origins are ancient!
Though the expression of farm-to-table can vary, the essence is the same: a celebration of fresh food, a focus on environmental sustainability and a sense of connection to one’s meal. Combine that with the al fresco gathering common at farm-to-table restaurants, and guests are met with an immersive dining experience that is quite special, indeed.
These awe-inspiring dining destinations reflect the concept of farm-to-table with the utmost authenticity: here, the tables are actually at a farm for the optimal, all-natural dining experience.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
Los Poblanos blends together natural beauty and thoughtful cuisine in the Rio Grande River Valley. This award-winning resort features historic designs by acclaimed architect John Gaw Meem and is located among 25 acres of gardens and sweeping lavender fields. The resort’s culinary offerings come together at its onsite restaurant, Campo.
The momentum of Los Poblanos is seen in every detail. Heirloom veggies are incorporated into daily menus, along with house-made bread and pasta. The team also creates lavender body products, provided to guests at their inn and sold at the Los Poblanos Farm Shop. And the farm’s onsite beehives help keep the garden humming along. Guests are welcome to join the lavender harvest each summer, as well as to engage in other workshops and tours throughout the year.
Blackberry Farm in Tennessee is a luxury farm, nestled on over 4,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, and is part wellness retreat, part nature sanctuary — and for foodies, an absolute dream.
With expansive gardens and a team that includes a cheesemaker, a forager and a preservationist, Blackberry Farms serves up farm-to-table cuisine in the midst of an alpine wilderness. Describing their menu as “Foothills Cuisine,” Blackberry Farm incorporates their harvest into the day’s offerings — think cheese plates fresh from the farm, or gazpacho made from seasonal veggies. In the evenings, diners are treated to elegant, multi-course menus.
And beyond discovering locally sourced goodness woven throughout each day’s meals, guests are invited to lean in and learn from the team’s artisans and experts. Blackberry Farm’s Farmstead Field School offers cooking demonstrations, tasting experiences and tours of the grounds with the farm’s Master Gardener.
Dishes accented with bright, edible flowers are simply whimsical — and all the more so if those flowers are grown right at the restaurant. Primo sits on nearly five acres, featuring two greenhouses, ducks, pigs and more than 200 laying chickens. The menu highlights locally grown and sourced ingredients in Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
On any given day, you may find house-made rigatoni or a hearty lobster soup on the menu, but the dishes are ever in motion to align with seasonal produce. The team harvests their own micro-greens, eggs and edible flowers onsite, and sources other produce from farms in the community.
In addition to Primo’s culinary endeavors, their no-waste policies further demonstrate sustainability: for example, kitchen excess goes to feed the livestock or fuel the wood-burning oven. Primo’s dream has also branched out to Orlando, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, and each location has its own gardens and seasonal menus.
Quiessence is located on 10 acres at The Farm at South Mountain, serving up both a la carte dining and multi-course tasting menus each week. At Quiessence, ingredients for each day’s dishes are sourced from the farm’s expansive Soil & Seed Garden, more than 60 fruit trees and an onsite chicken coop, while meats and cheeses are sourced from other farms in the area.
Quiessence’s menus consistently reflect the farm-to-table philosophy, featuring desserts with fruits from the farm and breads baked inhouse, but perhaps the ethos of Quiessence is most clearly demonstrated in one simple and beautiful dish: the “Soil & Seed” Foraged Garden Salad. This dish will look different depending on when you dine, but it always showcases a gathering of fresh and preserved veggies, beautifully displayed with a seasonal sauce.
For diners navigating an increasingly fast-paced world, farm-to-table dining offers inspired cuisine, as well as the opportunity to pause and reflect. After all, when the veggies for your dish are harvested only hours before you dine, your meal takes root in a whole new way.