In farm-to-fork terms, you can’t get any more local than a chef’s backyard.
At Ten22, “chef’s backyard” is a regular source of ingredients. Chef Jay Veregge brings to work what he grows at home. What he doesn’t grow in his backyard garden he picks up from neighbors — farmers and regular gardeners — on his drive to work from the Delta to Old Sacramento.
Ten22 is among three dozen restaurants participating in Farm to Fork Restaurant Week , sponsored by the Sacramento chapter of the California Restaurant Association as part of the Sacramento region’s events celebrating the Farm to Fork Capital of America.
For its part, Ten22 is offering a $25 three-course prix fixe menu. I had a taste this weekend.
First course: Heirloom tomatoes and leeks from Veregge’s backyard, made-in-house mozzarella and West Sacramento greens, dressed in Modesto olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. That was one fresh, simple and simply dynamic salad.
Second course: Heritage Duroc pork chop from Vande Rose farms of Iowa, grilled white peaches from the northern Sacramento Valley, Sonoma fingerling potatoes and cured-in-house bacon. The thin-cut grilled pork chop was pink and juicy to the bone, and flavorful beneath a light and sticky barbecue glaze. There were enough bacon shards in the potatoes to call it hash.
Third course: White Williams peaches and pepper sorbet. Icy-creamy and syrupy-sticky trumped any peppery bite, but it was good.
Note: Ten22 offers a three-course farm-to-fork dinner menu every Thursday. I enjoyed a three-course Thursday night visit in early summer. The asparagus, butter lettuce, sweet lemons and duck all came from the Delta, brought in by the chef from home or from his neighbors. Expect such localism pretty much every day at Ten22, not just for Farm to Fork Restaurant Week alone.