realize that some of you out there don’t have the time, or indeed the staff, to
choose your vegetables in this way. Indeed visiting an actual store may be the
only option available to you. If that is the case then I urge you to at least
visit one with an ample supply of organic produce, heirloom varietals and
precision irradiation equipment on site.
in front of the vegetables there are three key things to look for – freshness,
purity and potential.
critically important. Ask for a detailed log of the vegetables’ transit from
field to table. Ideally you’re looking for a total time of less than one day,
with a route that avoids major weather incidents or rough roads.
something that is often overlooked – even from some of my so-called peers in
the restaurant industry. Heirloom varietals are ideal – but make sure you have
a good sense of their provenance. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult
questions of the staff, no matter how dumbfounded or senseless they may appear.
In my experience you can always escalate up through the management chain to the CEO if necessary.
Next up -
potential. What do I mean by potential? Here a bit of research on your part (or
the part of your staff) comes in handy. You should be looking for varietals
that have established a good pedigree for cooking, but have not become clichés in their own right. For example, I avoid Marris Piper and Yukon Gold potatoes like
the plague, and instead gravitate towards more noteworthy strains such as the Yarrington
Rose. The Low Counties varietals have always been unfairly repressed in my