Riding the Trend of Using Home Grown Fruits & Veggies in your Restaurant

Restaurant owners are riding a trend by growing their own fresh fruits and vegetables. Having a plan on how to process, serve and store the fresh produce is essential.

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - NEW ULM, Texas - Jul 06, 2017 - With the increased competition from major chain restaurants, it’s important to have something special that brings people into your establishment. There is a growing trend for restaurants to have their own gardens which enable them to know exactly what is going on to the table.  It also allows restaurants to give the best to their customers, both in food quality and an assurance to their customers that harmful chemicals aren’t used in the growth of their food.

According to the National Restaurant Association (restaurant.org), “Locally grown produce is one of the hottest menu trends, coming in behind only locally sourced meats and seafood, according to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2015″ chefs’ survey, all members of the American Culinary Federation. ‘Hyperlocal sourcing,’ such as restaurant gardens, claims seventh-place on the list.”

With the growing trend of sourcing your own food, it is important to have a plan in place from the time you harvest your bounty to the time you serve your home-grown veggies and fruits. Since the food you grow will be seasonal, you may want to consider buying a commercial food sealer to keep a menu item well beyond the growing season you are in.

For instance, we are currently in the July 2017 harvest season here in Texas. Generally, blueberries, cucumbers, apples, beets, figs, raspberries, squash, grapes, melons, tangerines, peaches (Redskin – July 15-25; Dixiland – July 15-25; Jefferson – July20-30), plums, (summer and winter), sweet corn, tomatoes and miscellaneous vegetables are currently in season.  Or course Texas is a big state, and your harvest will look different depending on what part of the state you live in. We advise you to visit (pickyourown.org) for up to date harvest information.

ProProcessor, located a couple hour drive from the major cities (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio), carries all of the restaurant equipment you will need to process, serve and store your fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats. Since you will only have a short time from the time you pick your produce, we again highly recommend that you purchase a commercial vacuum chamber sealer (http://www.proprocessor.com/commercial-vacuum-sealers.htm) and commercial vacuum sealer bags. If you don’t live in the Texas area you can still purchase your commercial restaurant and processing equipment online at ProProcessor.com.

It is highly advisable to check with your state health inspector to know the rules of home grown produce. If you decide not to grow your own food, another good way to assure the taste and know how the food is grown is to buy from a local grower. The National Restaurant Association gives you these tips when buying local:

·         Choose local farms as your vendors. “If you don’t have your own garden, it’s important to visit farms and talk to farmers and make a connection with the growing process,” says Bayless. “The more you work with farmers, the more you understand the rhythm of growing, and the better cook you become.”

·         Shop farmers markets. These markets usually cater to individuals, but chefs can get some good deals if they time their visits wisely, says Ambrose. He recommends shopping later in the day and looking for overstocked items.

·         Participate in Community Supported Agriculture. Through a CSA, you agree to purchase shares from a farm before the growing season in return for fresh, local produce. Some CSAs work closely with restaurants to ensure that the farms’ crops meet the restaurants’ demand.

(http://www.restaurant.org/Manage-My-Restaurant/Marketing-Sales/Sustainability/A-blooming-trend-Gardens-are-sprouting-up-at-rest  [ Ambrose escapes from the kitchen of Estia’s Little Kitchen on Long Island / Windy City Frontera Grill, Chef Rick Bayless])

Along with processing your own veggies, people are also processing their own mean. Visit ProProcessor for all your meat processing equipment including sausage stuffers, meat grinders, and meat mixers.

Source : ProProcessor.com

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