Pop-up restaurant brings fresh food to the table

ENCINITAS — In its second installment, Farm to Fork is making a name for itself as a haven for farm fresh breakfast lovers. The congenial atmosphere of what’s been termed as a “pop-up” restaurant, along with the quality of ingredients, is a successful partnership between friends who love good food and love to share it with others.
Tess Radmill and Carris Rhodes, both Encinitas residents, sent out an e-mail to friends about a “new side project.” Word spread quickly about the Farm to Fork experiment and the foodies found themselves without enough food to serve the large number of people who showed up for the opening meal Aug. 22. “We ran out of food so we had to close early,” Radmill said.
Rather than view the lack of adequate supply as a disaster, the experience fits into the philosophy of Farm to Fork — to eat as local, as seasonal and as organic as possible. “We served about 100 people which was totally unexpected,” Rhodes said. “Tess and I grew up in this community, we work for the community at the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association and the Cardiff MainStreet and our mothers both own and work at local businesses so we are definitely supported.”
Taking their cue from the fashion industry where smaller designers often set up pop-up shops for sample sales or to debut their new lines, the pair put together a plan to apply the same method to serving food. “We wanted to do something that was more special-event based, so using the fashion industry model where the designer sets up shop, a pop-up shop, for a limited amount of time we decided why not do this with a breakfast joint!” Rhodes exclaimed. “Since we both have full-time jobs this also gives us time to relax and work on our seasonal recipes. You could honestly go to the market and there will be strawberries one week and none the next so we need time to shift our menu with the seasons as well.”
The idea has been featured in major food magazines recently according to Radmill. “I guess we are part of a larger movement,” Rhodes said. “Not all pop-ups are focused on local seasonal and organic, but they are all trying something new and bringing a unique approach to dinning to the community.”
The impetus for the experiment was simple. “The project was inspired by our love of food — especially breakfast — and the desire to educate the public on the abundance of local organic food produced in our region,” Radmill said. “San Diego County has the largest number of small- to medium-sized organic farms in the nation. We should all be taking advantage of these resources.”
Farm to Fork’s twist on the pop-up shop idea has been more successful in its last two events than Radmill and Rhodes could have imagined. “The amazing thing was that we found that people wanted to support the concept and eat local,” Rhodes said. “We definitely have things to improve on but everyone was happy, cheerful and really interested in where their food came from which was the ultimate goal, she said.
“I knew it was a complete success when I overheard people talking about how they were going to the Leucadia Farmers Market right after and that brought some serious smiles to our faces,” Rhodes said.
Farm to Fork is open Sundays only from 9 a.m. to noon in the Little House at 764 South Coast Highway 101. For more information including location, dates and updated menus, visit http://farmtoforkrestaurant.blogspot.com.


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