Not entirely brand-new, but burgeoning, the local chef's organization the Culinary Liberation Front
seems poised to make its mark on a wider scale. I recently attended the first "Great OC Farm-to-Table Dinner" held at the Taste of Orange County food fest in Irvine, and was pretty impressed with what the chefs were able to do, limited to ingredients from within a 200-mile radius.
Course, to a longtime farmers market shopper that ain't much of a limitation at all, and indeed, many of the suppliers of ingredients were familiar names―Pudwill Farms, Weiser Family Farms, OC Produce―even Vintage Natural Beef got name-checked by the chef from the Montage, who said all the hotel restaurants use it exclusively. He also spoke briefly, but fascinatingly about how the hotel has reduced what it sends to the landfill by 83%, through recycling and composting and changing choices on the front end of use. Impressive!
Vintage Natural Beef is not a farmers market item, but is the beef I've used for years, first because of its impeccable provenance but really due to sheer quality. Civilians can buy it at El Toro Meat in Lake Forest
.Culinary Liberation Front
has a web site, and is on Facebook
I think we'll be hearing more from this group. Maybe you have already... has the CLF touched your OC eating life yet?