Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 16, 2012

Ranch to table dining

Finding restaurants that feature farm to table options is becoming a common option – its a source of pride for many chefs to show off the producers they choose.

I like knowing the source of what I’m eating – and about keeping the farmer or rancher in business, not big business.

Staying at Zapata Ranch in southern Colorado, our first meal was dinner – and the feature of dinner was roast bison. This ranch is known for its riding, its also a 100,000 acre ranch with bison, which are kept to breed, sold to other ranchers and butchered for the dining table.

Although I hadn’t yet got my chance to go riding and explore the acreage for bison, I was happy to taste the bison – a slow cooked roast, crusty on the exterior and slightly juicy. The roast had a smoky overtone, but a clean finish – it didn’t taste strong and was very lean.

Paired with a fresh green salad, bread, sauteed mushrooms and asparagus, it was lovely introduction to Zapata Ranch’s kitchen, which focused on fresh, local and simple cuisine.

And the next day, when I went out on the range and saw the bison grazing, I saw the full circle of ranch life – something I had grown up with in British Columbia. I was happy to experience ranch to table dining and once again wished everyone could experience this option, and never have a mystery meat meal ever again.


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