Demand for healthy and local meals on restaurant menus has skyrocketed in the last few years. Eateries of all types — from fine dining to fast-casual — are embracing the farm to-fork movement to deliver the fresh, local ingredients diners are asking for. Frederik Jensen, creative chef and Peter Nolan, chief brand officer of Roti Mediterranean Grill answered SmartBrief’s questions on the farm-to-fork philosophy.
SB: What does the farm-to-fork philosophy mean to Roti?
Roti: It means a great deal. Creating, cooking and serving food carries a lot of responsibilities. Through the whole chain, from the earth, farmers, team members to the customers. We are on a never-ending, passionate pursuit to be and inspire the best we can as a company. Therefore, it’s essential that the people and companies we work with share the same passion in their field. We need to know the source of each individual ingredient, to meet the farmers and to understand their processes. Only with that, can we can put full trust in our food.
Why is this philosophy important to your food?
It’s not just a philosophy to our food. It’s for every aspect of what we do. We want to serve great “food that loves you back” but we think it’s even deeper then that. We see that what we do can have a real impact on our surroundings, from small to big. We want to inspire and support those who do the right thing. We have created our “Roti Foodlosophy” not only detailing the specifics of “Farm to Fork” but every aspect in the process of cooking and serving great food.
Why is it important to your brand to embrace the farm-to-fork philosophy?
The brand, food, and company are all the same, all on the same pursuit with the same purpose. It’s important to tell our customers not just what they are eating but where the food is from and how it came to be. The journey of the food is equal if not even more important to the final result, which is flavor and quality.
What are the challenges you face while implementing this strategy?
Knowing right from wrong is the easiest thing there is. Implementing the right way of doing things has its challenges, from a price premium that cannot be extended to the customers to supply difficulties.
As you research food purveyors, there is usually always a step further to take. For example, with FreeBird we felt it was important to visit the family farmers to understand the farming techniques and the step after that is knowing the ingredient that goes into the feed of the chicken. In the end it’s definitely worth it all.