There are so many reasons to support local farms that I hardly know where to start! Ultimately, for me, it comes down to flavour; food that is grown nearby arrives at our kitchen at L’Abattoir more quickly. There is no comparison between a fresh, Fraser Valley green onion, and one that’s been trucked up from California—a jet-lagged vegetable just doesn’t taste as good. Also, the further an ingredient has to travel to get to our restaurant, the more fossil fuels have to be burned, which is obviously something we want to minimize.
We are so incredibly fortunate here in B.C. that we don’t need to go anywhere else; we have access to sustainably-harvested seafood caught right off our coast, and fruit and vegetables from Fraser Valley. It’s truly a win-win situation because we’re able to get the best ingredients for our kitchen, but in doing so we also help to support local agriculture, which provides a boost for the local economy and possibly creates jobs in the process.
Finally, one of my favourite things about sourcing local ingredients is that you have to pay attention to what’s in season. When those first asparagus spears or pea shoots become available, it’s really exciting, and you want to use them in recipes that will show them off. Eating locally means switching up your menus, which wakes up your taste buds so you fully appreciate what’s on your plate.
Check out these recipes courtesy of Chef Lee Cooper of L’Abattoir (as shown in image and listed from left to right):
- Strathcona Cocktail
- Salt-Baked Whole Steelhead
- Baked Halibut with Peas and Lemon
- Berries with Shortcake and Whipped Cream