In a country steeped in industrial food production, it matters more than ever where our food comes from and how it was raised. Thoughtful chefs are keenly aware of this—and, in increasing numbers, they are making choices that resonate throughout the food chain.
Five of Salt Lake City’s best and most thoughtful chefs gathered April 27 at Squatters to share signature dishes created with one of their favorite key ingredients— meats and poultry sourced from Niman Ranch (NimanRanch.com). Since I got to taste them all, I can tell you: It’s good stuff.
In case you haven’t heard of the brand, Niman works cooperatively with more than 650 sustainable U.S. farms and ranches to source beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Every piece of meat is hormoneand antibiotic-free and humanely raised on vegetarian feed. Niman also produces a line of specialty products, including their Fearless Franks—some of the best nitrite-free hot dogs around. Locally, Niman Ranch products are available on menus at Squatters, Mazza, Wild Grape and Fresco. You can also find some of their products at Liberty Heights Fresh.
No, this isn’t an ad for Niman Ranch. But it is an endorsement for the absolute humane treatment of animals that they espouse and for the juicy, flavorful meats—primarily the beef and pork they produce.
If you want to know more about Niman, take some time to peruse the Web. Company founder Bill Niman left in 2007, and there are conflicting feelings about the company among some in the food community. My first loyalty is to local, sustainably raised, grass-fed meats, but I’m glad chefs also have the choice to put Niman on their menus. So try a top-sirloin kabob at Mazza, beef sliders at Squatters, grilled New York steak at Wild Grape or roasted pork loin at Fresco. It’s a thoughtful choice.