Edward Farrow of The Café at MIM Dishes About Chris Gross, Going Local and What He Learned at Kai
This is part two of my interview with Edward Farrow, executive chef of The Café at MIM. If you missed part one, where Farrow dishes about menu integrity and the fire he started at the famed River Café, read it here.
Buchanan Farrow in the walk-in at The Café at MIM
Your favorite cuisine and why: Just about anything I've never tried. The newness of the experience, the cuisine's culture and people, their traditions, which developed the cuisine over many moons in communities and family kitchens. You not only eat something interesting but immerse yourself in that culture for a while.
What turns you off when dining at a restaurant?: Indifferent service.
Buchanan Pork ribs and veggies at MIM -- local, local, local
Favorite place to dine in Phoenix and why: Quiessence. It's ALWAYS great, and I am treated very well there. Inspiring, comfortable. Every dish is spot on, and I leave very happy.
Favorite thing to eat growing up: Whole milk.
Favorite thing to eat now: Any great cheese, the stinkier the better.
What's your guilty pleasure?: Great bourbon and The Shield.
You're very committed to local produce and products. Why?: It seems to make sense emotionally. It supports my neighbors, my community and my state. it's sustainably done and usually organic. I like to know who grows my food, have a conversation with them, know their families. These folks are usually a tad eclectic. It's good fun. They are as passionate about what they do as we are here. It makes sense, and it's a great partnership.
When did your interest in the local food movement begin?: I've always been passionate about sourcing this way, but some venues just do not support it. Most local folks need to be paid asap, maybe 7 days credit, whereas most hotels/resorts/corporations do 60/90 day terms. If a grower needs to fix his truck this week, 60 days seems like forever, and quite simply, he will go under. Bon Appetit is always figuring out ways to lower the barriers to make these relationships happen. We are, after all, a food company first. That said, we consider ourselves a small, independent restaurant here at the café. We operate as if our names are on the door.