A new Boulder, Colo.-based restaurant strives to keep farm-to-table prices down and share the knowledge about fresh, organic foods through school garden projects—all while serving great food and organic wine and beer and launching a zero plastic, aluminum, and glass waste program.
My name is Kevin. I’m from Dallas, and my favorite vegetable is okra.
I’m Tara from Niwot, Colorado, and I like spinach.
My name’s Alberto. I’m from Italy, and I like zucchini blossoms.
My name is Hugo. The only fruit or vegetable I don’t like is bananas …
We were sitting in—well, out—on staff training for The Kitchen [Next Door], the latest restaurant from Hugo Matheson, Kimbal Musk, and Jen Lewin, proprietors of Boulder, Colo.'s popular The Kitchen and the The Kitchen [Upstairs]. Dozens of young men and women were divulging some very personal information at Cure Organic Farm: their favorite vegetables.
Making farm-to-table restaurants accessible
Here in Colorado, “farm-to-table” has become a buzzword that stimulates regional foodies and eager tourists alike. But how do we know when it isn’t just a buzzword? The Kitchen’s new addition, which will open to the public next week, is a breath of farm fresh air, a neighborhood bistro-style restaurant that will serve the same quality, almost always local and often organic ingredients as the Kitchen and The Kitchen [Upstairs] but at a fraction of the price. Everything around $10 dollars, which will appear on your table in less than ten minutes. “The Kitchen opened seven years ago, but what was still missing was a restaurant that made the food accessible to a larger community—more price accessible and faster,” Musk said.
Spreading the knowledge, sharing the resources
How could we not be delighted that mouthwatering dishes like the beet burger with feta and balsamic caramelized onions (on an Udi's roll!) will be available to many more people (unless, of course, we’re being greedy)? But The Kitchen is opening the door for many more people in another way, too: By partnering with Slow Food Denver's Seed-To-Table-Program, it will help build school gardens in underprivileged Denver districts, and The Kitchen continues to work with Boulder’s Growe Foundation, which does the same for Boulder districts. The Kitchen [Next Door] is also bringing that learning experience to the restaurant, which will feature interactive, veggie-based games to get kids thinking about healthy food—and having fun with it.
Local products and sustainability initiatives
The Kitchen [Next Door], like The Kitchen, will continue to promote other local producers—which happen to be some of our favorites here at Delicious Living—like Udi’s and Conscious Coffees. On top of all of this, it is upping the sustainability initiatives, serving only wines sourced from producers that use bio-dynamic and organic grapes; plus, it will launch the first zero plastic, aluminum, and glass waste program, which requires all beer and wine be served directly from the barrel.
The first day of the training at the organic farm where much of the restaurant’s food is grown said a lot, that The Kitchen isn’t just farm-to-table in theory but also in practice. Each member of the staff will understand that critical farm half of what they’re putting on the table. Sourcing food locally is just one piece of the mission; what’s equally important is cultivating a universal understanding of why local and organic matters, and the best place to start is with the staff—whether of a natural products store or a local restaurant. After spending a day at the training, I know that the team behind the food wants each and every one of us to say it loud, say it proud!
“My name is Jessica, and I like kale.”