Tomato Love (podcast)May 24th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
When somebody feeds you, it’s their way of saying you matter to them. And if they feed you homegrown vine-ripened tomatoes, well, you matter a lot.
Diners are beginning to feel the love as more restaurants break ground to grow some of the herbs and vegetables they serve to patrons.
If these “fresh-minded” eateries don’t grow their own produce, then they’re sourcing it from local farmers, and that’s the next best thing.
I’m always on the lookout for places that take this path, and feel like I’ve unearthed hidden treasure when I find them.
When I discovered that Sagra Trattoria in Austin, Texas grows the majority of the tomatoes and herbs that Chef/Owner Gabriel Pellegrini uses in the rustic Italian dishes he prepares, I knew I had to visit.
In fact, Sagra Trattoria is the first restaurant I’ve come across since starting Field & Feast that has a greenhouse and an in-house horticulturist.
Mason Popp grows for Sagra and, using organic methods, he cultivates bushels of luscious heirloom tomatoes: from one-pound White Wonders to elongated and beautifully hued Orange Bananas to the cute, fuzzy and delicious Garden Peach tomatoes.
Mason also grows several kinds of basil and thyme and other aromatics year round– much to Chef Pellegrini’s (and diners’) delight.
But this is tomato season, and no matter what the weather is serving up in Central Texas, everything is copacetic in the Sagra greenhouse…and coming up tomatoes.