The rapport between restaurants and farmers is stronger than ever in today’s farm-to-table dining culture. Partnering is a win-win: restaurants want the best, highest-quality product, and farmers want to grow incredible ingredients, responsibly, for their local communities. But what really makes these relationships thrive?
Husband-and-wife team Kalayada Ammatya and James Beutel (the eponymous “K” and “J”) started K&J Orchards in the 1980s and quickly became one of the largest producers of Asian pears in California. Eventually they moved out of wholesale into farmers’ markets. Today, their daughter Aomboon “Boonie” Ammatya heads up the family business, now a year-round farm growing cherries, apricots, apples, and citrus, in addition to pears, and works closely with CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.
Since a significant portion of K&J’s business comes from restaurants, we asked Boonie all about how she works with chefs and how to get the most out of a partnership. Here are a few of her top insights. [Read more…]