The term may be overused these days but the intention remains relevant. Diners want inventive dishes made with the freshest possible ingredients and least possible impact on the environment. Chefs want to offer exactly that. One result of this synergistic aspiration is a new focus on something that had all but disappeared from the American landscape in the age of big agriculture–the small farm. Now, local organic produce, animals raised humanely, handcrafted cheese and sausage, house-made canned and preserved goods and a desire to waste nothing all have become the new normal in trendsetting restaurants, and Denver is well ahead of the curve.
The drive to use local purveyors and ingredients is strong in Colorado. From pizza at Sazza to multi-course meals at Root Down, there are restaurants at which farm-to-table is not a trend but a sustained passion. One of the best-known chefs in this space is Alex Seidel, who has Fruition, Mercantile Dining & Provision and his own Fruition Farms, which provides ingredients for both restaurants. Equally passionate are the chefs at urban Farmer in the Oxford Hotel and 15/Fifty in the Sheraton Downtown Denver., proving that good, locally sourced food and sustainability are important to hotel chefs, too. There are many more. The best news is that this is no longer a trend; it's the new norm, at least here in Denver.