Connect with a Chef – American Meat
Chefs and farmers should in theory be best pals. If you are a farmer raising chickens for example, it’s absolutely in your best interest to pair up your humanely raised birds with a chef that knows how to prepare them.
This seems like a no brainer but the problem is the disconnect that has occurred between most chefs and most farmers. Factory farmers raise animals for huge corporations that sell to restaurants for extremely low costs. This way farmers, have their supplies taken care of and chefs get cheap ingredients to feed customers that allow them to keep operating costs low.
The one big problem with this system, however, is that consumers are becoming more informed. People are okay with paying a bit more for a meal if they know the animals were treated well and weren’t given any antibiotics or growth hormones. This in turn means that people are craving food that has real flavor, not flavor put there artificially but flavor found in ingredients that were cultivated with care and hard work. This is what makes Chef Dan Barber’s point so poignant. He truly believes that chefs are most concerned with flavor, and the ones that aren’t won’t be chefs for very long.
Real ingredients, raised the right way taste better than their artificial, poorly raised counterparts. This makes it in a chef’s best interest to buy top quality ingredients paying more for better flavor. 10 years ago it may have been hard to make this argument, but now people want their food to taste better, the best way to do that is get food from farmers who work hard to grow great products.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, BAMCO, Whole Foods and Applegate are all huge companies who have built their businesses off of the notion that people want better quality food. These entities would not be thriving the way they are today if people’s mindsets hadn’t changed.
Chef Barber says the demand for wholesome quality ingredients is present, it’s the supply that isn’t, which brings us back to one of American Meat’s core goals. Informing and supporting young farmers. We are here to support young farmers into new farming endeavors. It’s up to the next generation of farmers to take the lead and in doing so many others will follow.