Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Chipotle hosted a farm tour for their Kitchen Managers and Tasty Chomps at Lake Meadows Naturals. The event began with a brief Food with Integrity presentation at a Chipotle location near by to refresh the minds on Kitchen Managers on what they are serving their customers and why as well as to advance my knowledge on the differences between Chipotle from other “fast food” restaurants.
Chipotle has a Supply Chain Team that works to source the best ingredients, while most fast food contains highly processed ingredients with chemical additives (ie preservatives, artificial colors and artificial flavors). At Chipotle, farmers, ranchers and producers whose practices reflect care for animals, the environment, farmers, and customers raise ingredients. Chipotle makes sure they do not serve genetically modified organisms (GMO) ingredients as large quantities are unhealthy and create dangerous side effects for consumers, animals and the environment itself.
The employees of Chipotle prepare all of the food every morning – chopping, mashing, mixing, and grilling the food. They do not have microwaves in their locations like most fast food restaurants to reheat premade foods.
To further promote motivation to the Kitchen Managers and their crew on learning and promoting to others how they serve Food with Integrity, they were able to take a fun tour of Lake Meadows Naturals Farm in Ocoee, FL, which included egg harvesting opportunities before having lunch on the porch overlooking cows grazing in the meadow.
Before harvesting eggs, we were given a tour of the room that kept the eggs warm for hatching, saw a turkey come out of its egg and hold some chicks that were hatched earlier on; photos are respectively in order of this description.
Lake Meadows Naturals Farm is a local egg farm producing fabulous chicken and duck eggs from happy hens. Their poultry is healthy with no growth hormones or antibiotics and raised in stress-free environments.
Not only did we harvest eggs at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm…we also picked and tried mulberries – some for the first time.
For lunch, Chef Tonda Corrente of La Femme Du Fromage (at the East End Market) prepared a table for fruit, cheese and Lake Meadows Truffle Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam (not photographed) as well as a table for a few main course dishes where all ingredients came fresh from around the farm as well as brought from the East End Market.
The Farmer’s Caprese Salad was delightfully light and the flavors popped, which can be found in freshly added ingredients in any dish. The salad consisted of fresh red and yellow heirloom tomatoes layered with panko crusted green tomatoes, local Mozzarella and garden basil.
The Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin had sweet apricot glaze and blueberry compote. The pork is very tender and juicy; it was made well and did not dry out. The apricot glaze and blueberry compote weren’t overpoweringly sweet when it is not doused over the pork. This was my favorite besides the light Couscous Salad and Green Beans Gremolata.
For dessert, we were served Peach Cobbler with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. The peaches were locally grown and the ice cream was locally made. I love cobblers, but I think the peaches were too sweet in this case. If there was a larger ice cream to peach cobbler ratio, it would be balanced out better.