The Cafe at MIM Celebrates "Eat Local Challenge" Tomorrow. Got Lunch Plans?
When it comes to the local food movement, no one puts his money where our mouths are quite like Edward Farrow, the executive chef of The Café at MIM. On any given day, this cafeteria-style museum restaurant (so much prettier and just plain better than a museum cafe is ever expected to be) creates changing menus that are 75% local.
Courtesy of Pen and Fork The not-so-ordinary cafeteria line at The Cafe at MIM
But tomorrow -- Tuesday, September 25 -- the café celebrates its annual Eat Local Challenge by offering a lunch that's 100% locally sourced. One hundred percent -- it's pretty amazing. There's just one miniscule exception:
Courtesy of Pen and Fork Looking out the windows from The Cafe at MIM
Salt. You see, Arizona doesn't mine edible salt (just for swimming pools and other industrial purposes), so Farrow got his pals in San Diego to ship him 25 pounds of salt harvested from the Sea of Cortez, which is just a little over 200 miles away.
Does this strike you as extraordinary effort on The Café's part? Does me. But this almost loco devotion to local is nothing new, according to Farrow, who earns his paycheck from Bon Appetit, a California-based food service management and catering company with 450 institutional clients, including the prestigious Getty Center in LA, the Art Institute of Chicago and The Modern Art Museum in Forth Worth.
For the same event last year, Farrow -- whose impressive resume includes the famous River Cafe in Brooklyn, The Inn at Little Washington and Kai here at home -- says one of his sous chefs drove to Yuma to buy wheat, which he brought back to Phoenix and milled himself at a local mill. This year, the café will be using flour from Hayden Flour Mills -- which the museum chef views as a real boon for local-lovers.