There’s nothing like it. Enjoying a meal made with colorful and crisp ingredients just picked from the garden. Knowing where your food comes from and the love and care put into making it, makes eating it that much more enjoyable.
It’s that kind of food that people want to eat, and it’s the kind of dining experience that local restauranteur, Chef Tim Payne, strives to create in his recently opened restaurant in downtown Lyons. One step inside of Payne’s Farmer Girl Community Bistro reveals a chef that values locally-grown ingredients and close-knit partnerships with local farms. A chalkboard in the entryway is adorned with a list of farms that supply Payne and his team with ingredients at the peak of their growth. Dishes on Farmer Girl’s menu change with the season and the readiness of each farm’s crop.
“There’s an agriculture movement happening in this area,” said Payne. “We build our menu around what’s in season, with a focus on local, organic and sustainable food.”
With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, Farmer Girl’s menu is filled with an abundance of bright seasonal vegetables like carrots made into a Carrot Latke served with kale pesto. Fresh greens are incorporated into just about every dish and provide the cornerstone of a handful of beautiful salad offerings including a beet salad. The menu also features dishes made with seasonal ingredients like beets, arugula, and blood oranges, the latter of which Payne transforms into a savory jam which is served alongside an assortment of cheeses, toasted baguette slices, and other goodies constructed into a cheese platter.
Aside from supporting and showcasing products from local farms, Chef Payne also spends time in the summer hosting and participating in local farm dinners.
“We typically do about ten dinners each summer,” said Payne. “I have fun with the farm dinners. It’s a great opportunity to introduce diners to the people that are growing the food on their plate.”
“Those people” include local farms like Oxford Farms, Toohey and Sons, Morning Fresh Dairy and more, who’s vegetables add a freshness to each Farmer Girl dish that keeps locals and foodies from neighboring cities coming back for more.
Stay tuned to Farmer Girl’s website and Facebook page for more information on upcoming farm dinners, and stop by Farmer Girl, located at 432 Main Street in Lyons, for a farm-fresh dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. And if you’re inspired to create dishes from fresh ingredients from your own garden or from farmers’ market finds, be sure to load up on these seasonal vegetables that will add freshness and flavor to your meals at home.
Summer Seasonal Vegetables:
Photo credit: Tyra Sutak for YourBoulder.com