By Analiese Paik
Talk about culture shock. Chef Joe Wolfson of Terrain Garden Cafe, the eatery inside the the newly opened Terrain store in Westport, arrived in town two weeks ago from Alabama. No wonder there are grits on the menu. But they’re Alabama grits, sourced from a friend who grows them back home at Oakview Farms.
Chef Wolfson’s dedication to local sourcing will become evident over the next few weeks as he starts receiving produce and other farm-fresh foods from Red Bee Apiary in Weston, The Hickories in Ridgefield, Millstone Farm in Wilton, Holbrook Farm in Bethel and Warrup’s Farm in Redding. The cheeseboard already screams local with a selection of Connecticut and Vermont cheeses.
And what about meats? “We won’t be serving industrial meat; it’s will all be sustainable” said Wolfson, a 2011 contender for Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Gulf Coast. Ditto for the dairy and rest of the Cafe menu. Calling all sustainable farmers! Chef Wolfson is looking for local suppliers and he’s asked me to help. Call 203-226-2732 and tell him I sent you. The menu changes three time a week according to Wolfson, so don’t be shy about telling him what’s coming out of the fields this week and next week.
“We’ll be serving lunch/brunch every day, Monday through Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday” said Wolfson. “Dinner starts on May 22, and will be served Tuesday through Saturday.”
If you want to stop in for a quick snack or cup of coffee, head to the coffee bar where organic, direct trade, shade grown coffee from Counter Culture is served alongside baked goods from famed baker John Barricelli’s SONO Baking in Norwalk. Tins of organic Serrendipitea, bags of Counter Culture coffee, and delicious GMO-free granola bars from Westport-based Nothin’ But can also be purchased at the coffee bar.
After circling the retail displays in the store twice looking for local producers, I found the honey display that featured Weston’s Red Bee Honey products including blueberry blossom, clover, and tupelo honey. I know the list will grow as the buyers get to know other artisan and specialty food producers in the area. Times they sure are a-changing when a large retailer like Urban Outfitters launches a new concept store that’s so focused on local and sustainable sourcing. It is a reason to be cheerful.
Chef Joe Wolfson will be participating in the Whole Hog event at Clarke’s to benefit Wholesome Wave on May 24. Terrain’s grand opening is this Mother’s day weekend.
Terrain Garden Cafe at Terrain
561 post Road East, Westport