As the summer slowly evolves, our spirits are lifted each week as purveyors start to bring us treats from the summer harvest. The lengthening days and the anticipation of the best of the summer produce perk up all of us at the restaurant.
The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, is a great source for zucchini squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes, micro-field greens, fresh cut herbs, French string beans, English peas and summer root vegetables such as beets, carrots, turnips and radishes. For fresh chanterelle, king oyster, hedgehog, porcini and black “summer” truffles we go out west with Fresh & Wild in Vancouver, Washington and Mikuni Farms in Oregon. These two purveyors also supply us with bing cherries, mountain huckleberries, and black currants. We are blessed to have the Novotny Farm Market so close to us. Brian Novotny sources locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Huron County gives us sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, melons and raspberries, Quarry Hill peaches and apples are from Berlin Heights, Ohio. For blueberries and blackberries we go to The Blueberry Farm located off Baumhart Road in Vermilion. The farm is owned by Donel Sprenger, a local businessman who has a passion for this wonderful fruit. We love dealing with people with passion; for us, passion means perfection.
We are the first called when the Cantense Brothers receive their initial shipment of Soft Shell Crabs from the Cheasepeake Bay. Then we know summer is here! The second call from the brothers is in regards to Alaskan King Salmon and Black Cod from the Pacific Northwest. These two items are Chez classics and remain on our menu during the summer months.
And although his bee hives have been damaged, the past several years, Mr. Jim Shupe has still been able to provide us with local wild flower honey from his farm in Berlin Heights, Ohio. We use this honey to blend with lively cocktails, certain sauces and our house butter with fresh chives.
For specialty meats such as Hudson Valley foi gras and Maple Leaf Farms duck we use D’Artagnan from Hudson Valley, New York. When these are matched with fresh summer fruits, forget about itour summer is complete.
Chops! We love chops especially from the Radis Brothers at Blue Ribbon Meats who supply us with Pork Chops that we match with fresh apricots and Veal Chops that we top with summer Italian truffles and Lamb Chops served with roasted heirloom tomatoes. We serve these chops all summer long.