The farm-to-table dining trend's inevitable conclusion - Macleans.ca

The farm-to-table dining trend’s inevitable conclusion

Learning how to navigate a teat without expert supervision is integral to the experience

by

As imagined by Jessica Allen

Welcome to Traditional & Authentic—the restaurant that takes farm to table eating seriously, finally.  Please be sure to arrive for your three-month-old reservation at 3:30 am.  At 3:45 am, you’ll meet with our executive chef—the one who trained in New York, Dubai, Paris, Copenhagen and wherever El Bulli was—and together you’ll customize a menu that perfectly reflects who you are.

Afterwards, you’ll be outfitted in authentic overalls (made from Japanese denim) and rain boots, and be driven in the back of a traditional tractor-trailer to the barn for some one-on-one time with Darla. We at T&A believe that learning how to navigate a teat without expert supervision is integral to the bona fide farm-to-table experience that we hope to provide.

Once you’ve procured three buckets (traditional galvanized steel ones, with genuine wooden handles) of fresh milk, it will probably be lunchtime. By now you’ll be starving. Why not enjoy some complimentary egg salad sandwiches (made with heritage duck eggs laid that day) and a glass of real lemonade (infused with ginger, thyme and laced with ice cubes made with pork belly) on the farmhouse porch where somebody in a costume will be playing old-timey music on a restored 1908 Sears Roebuck catalogue banjo?

Don’t get too comfortable, though. You still have a hog to slaughter! Since we believe in the integrity of all living things, a mandatory 20-minute Cassavetes-style documentary (made by our in-house videographer) on the life of the protein source you are about to end will be shown beforehand. Also, please be advised that the entire animal—snout to tail, including the asshole—will be consumed.  If you don’t like asshole, maybe T&A is not really for you.

Next up is the vegetable garden where you’ll harvest the produce for your meal. Everything we serve at T&A is grown on premise—except for our lemons and limes, which we import directly from an authentic Cistercian monastery south of Lazio (in Italy), and our olive oil, which is made from olives picked by orphans on an organic vineyard in Spain. Everything else comes from within a 100-metre radius from the harvest table, which is itself made from reclaimed Mennonite wood by a 27-year old Danish guy with a beard. The table is idyllically situated between our (biodynamic) pinot grigio vines.

Back inside and refreshed after an optional bath in an enameled wash basin (the patina is authentic) filled with rain water, it’s time to change into your chef whites (like you see on TV) and cook your dinner with the chef who you will call, “Chef.” Please refrain from asking Chef questions about all the famous places he’s worked. In fact, please do not ask Chef direct questions at all. If you have a question, ask his sous-chef, Dwayne.

By 9:00 pm, you ought to be eating your dinner around the harvest table, which will be lit with authentic candles made by those people who dress up like pioneers at old forts and villages. You’ll be too tired to drive home so guest accommodations are included in the price for your dinner. Check out time is 2:00 am.

And don’t forget to sign our guest book (made with vellum) and to ask us to take your photo (using the Hipstamatic app on your iPhone) on your way out: this is a day you don’t want to forget.

Hungry for more? Have a peek at Jessica’s personal blog, Foodie and the Beast.