We like to know as much as we can about the farms we work with. We also source food based on both the quality of process and product -- was it grown in a way that was good for the land and the people involved? Is it tasty and nutritious?
We also focus on a personal connection between ourselves and our farmers, and opportunities for collaboration. This may mean that we buy a restuarant-sized CSA share from one farm, and buy market surplus from another; or trade for wheels of cheese that are tasty, but a bit quirky, from a local cheesemaker.
When we can't buy directly, we look for distributers we can trust. We love our coffee, spice, and fish mongers because they share our values in sourcing, and keep us aware of our far-flung producers whom we have not yet met.
Everything we serve at the Gleanery is made here in our kitchen. From our burger buns, to the aoli, to the stocks in the soup, we chopped and simmered it. (OK, we'll admit there's exception to the rule. The wraps and phyllo dough. We like them and we can't make them yet.)
Our kitchen is informed by a deep interest in cooking science and method. Essentially, we cozy up to various culinary traditions, and then we play with them. You may specifically see the influences of Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican traditions or flavors on our menus. Of course, the arrival of a new Turkish cookbook may result in a run of Turkish seasonings and dishes. The cooking, therefore, is informed and improvisational.
The menus respond to what is available from the farmers. This is what allows us to say, "Hey, drop off whatever you have in abundance, and we'll make it tasty."
We are likewise thrilled that many of our customers make their own dietary choices based on their beliefs. We are therefore happy to work within a wide, and ever-changing framework of dietary needs.