Farm to Table at La Condesa & The Bonneville

Fresh carrots at La Condesa     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Fresh carrots at La Condesa     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

For most of us, summer means traveling, tan lines, and playing in the sun. For restaurants, however, this season is a time to change the menu and try new dishes. In the 2ND Street District, where we are all about community and giving back, the chefs at our restaurants endorse farm to table techniques while still keeping things interesting with local produce.

What is farm to table? It’s what happens when a restaurant takes what is given to them by local farmers instead of from across the country or the globe. This not only supports local, but also spurs creativity among chefs. While our 2ND Street chefs agree that farm to table cannot be carried out 100%, when local produce is in season, the dishes are even more delicious. We asked some of the chefs and restaurant owners from the 2ND Street District how they work with farm to table, what original creations they’ve come up with, and what inspires them.

La Condesa - Chef Rick Lopez

"We partner with Sustainable Food Center, which hosts a chef series every fall. I’ll call or order via email & take what Johnson’s Backyard Garden has to get rid of in excess. This is how we create our specials. We try to switch our menu 4 times a year."

On Farm to Table Original Creations

Zanahoria: The salad has 4 different types of cooked carrots: roasted with salt & pepper, shaved raw, pickled, and chimichurri. The carrots are purple, red, orange, and yellow so the finished product looks like a campfire. They’re placed on top of crispy quinoa and a cardamom yogurt that comes from White Mountain Yogurt in East Austin.

“I love carrots. As a baby, all I hate was carrot purree. I was turning bronze.”

Zanahoria at La Condesa    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Zanahoria at La Condesa    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Inspiration

“I'm inspired by how knowledgeable our guests have become now when it comes to food. They're really into the whole farm to table thing. I really aim to please and quench people of their thirst for knowledge while trying to teach too. We're named after a place in Mexico City and we gain inspiration from what the chefs are doing there. When you travel to Mexico, it's not exclusively tacos or anything like that. They have great produce. It's what they do & how they present it.”

Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Bonneville    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Bonneville    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

The Bonneville - Chefs Chris & Jennifer Hurley

On Farm to Table Techniques

“We go to the farmers markets and farms ourselves, but you can’t do it 100%. Certain things you can’t get local, like scallops, which come from the East Coast. We use Sustainable Food Center, where they know how their animals are raised. Other partners include Republic Square and Boggy Creek Farms, both in Austin, and IO Ranch in Lampasas.

On Farm to Table Original Creations

Local Heirloom tomato salad with house-made bacon jam and avocado. Tomatoes come from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Boggy Creek. The Bonneville makes its own bacon and smokes it in-house.

If you love bacon, you must come in and try it...it is unbeliveably delicious.

Watermelon & tequila-infused jalapeno margarita: Watermelon is symbolic of summertime. The cocktail is sweet in the front of your mouth with a kick in the back.

Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita at The Bonneville     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita at The Bonneville     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Inspiration

“Our famers and ranchers inspire us. They’re the experts, whether it’s game or produce. Sure, it’d be great to have what we want handed to us, but those conversations between ourselves and the farmers are what make us create new dishes with their produce finds.”