One of the things we should place more of a value on when choosing our food is the relationships we share. Not just the ones we share with those around our tables (which are ultimately as important as anything else about our food), but with our personal relationship with the land, the farmer, the chef, and the local restaurant.
A way to begin cultivating this relationship is to choose local, and I can think of no better example than the Old Market’s own Kitchen Table.
Jessica and Colin Duggan are the owners, with Colin the primary culinary artist.
According to Jessica, one of their primary goals is to provide Omaha with quality food from a short distance away – truly from the farm to the table.
“We strive to be a home away from home that can provide a wonderful dining experience that anyone with any dietary needs can feel good about,” Jessica said.
It’s this very concept that makes things different at Kitchen Table. “Supporting local farmers, producers, businesses is creating something we can all be proud of and need to continue to do,” Jessica said.
How many chains and franchise restaurants can claim the same relationship with their clientele? How many even want to?
Now, dining choices always comes down to how the food tastes (and I’d place my bet on Kitchen Table as the best-tasting restaurant in Omaha)… but it’s not the only thing that we should consider when we eat out.
Just as important should be placing value on knowing where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and being able to talk directly with the people responsible. There’s no mystery at Kitchen Table about any aspect of the dining experience, and it’s part of their core philosophy. Even the wood customers eat on was re-purposed from a family barn. The very soul of Kitchen Table is about relationships – with their customers, with their farmers, and the community.
“We know who’s daughter is getting married, who’s just become a grandpa, who is in the middle of boards for medical school, etc. – we have developed relationships/friends that are very important to being a part of Omaha and downtown,” Jessica said.
There is something special about knowing the people behind the food we eat there. The fact that I was able to sample cheese from Branched Oak Farms, the subject of one of my previous posts, was simply amazing. Not only is the cheese fantastic, but I can link my experience to talking with the farmers and even visiting the cows. It’s even good to know my dollars spent at Kitchen Table even supports Branched Oak’s philosophy of making sure their farm is a place for local wildlife to flourish.
Jessica and Colin agree that there is something special about working directly with the people who provide them with their ingredients.
“We love that the farmers we work with take such great pride in what they do and we are so lucky to be able to use the wonderful they produce,” Jessica said. “And later that day, after all of their deliveries, they come back and eat the menu items featuring what they had previously delivered.”
“[It is] an awesome circle to be a part of, and something to take pride in.”