Recently I had the honor of going to the home of Trish Watlington, owner of two Mission Hills restaurants: Red Door and the Wellington that are both located on West Washington Street. She gave me a tour of her garden that has become a source of food for her restaurants. What impressed me is that she raises vegetables and fruits the same way that my grandfather did back in Colorado, without harmful pesticides. I know that’s not an easy task. It means more effort and expense to doing it right. Doing it right means you and I are eating healthy food.
Watlington is passionate about the food that she selects and purchases to go on the tables at her restaurants. She believes in “farm to table” with organic vegetables, fruits and meat products. And, she is not alone.
Watlington says she is seeing a growing effort among restaurant owners and executive chefs to be advocates for shopping locally and with care and concern with what goes on their tables. There is a cost and a benefit. To be a conscientious chef and restaurant owner means extra time and effort to grow and/or purchase from like-minded growers. The benefit is quality food that tastes considerably better and is obviously healthier. As consumers, we benefit from eating food void of harmful pesticides.
While walking among Watlington’s extensive garden I got to see numerous types of vegetables and fruits, including squash, beans, blackberries, pumpkin, beets, eggplants, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, squash, lemons and the list goes on. What I can’t help but realize is that so few people truly appreciate how food gets to our tables. It doesn’t just happen. Someone, a farmer or gardener makes it happen. Isn’t it time we appreciate that food is a gift that comes to us because someone is willing to make the effort.
Thanks to Trish Watlington who is one of these special people who makes a commitment every day to bring healthy food to our table.