Posted Feb 6th, 2018
FARMHOUSE RESTAURANT TO DEBUT ON MARCH 17, 2018
The upcoming dining destination redefines the restaurant model with an “Executive Farmer” leading the culinary philosophy and offerings
(Los Angeles; February 6, 2018)—Nathan Peitso, second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms, announces the opening of FARMHOUSE. Set to open on March 17, 2018 on the ground floor of the reimagined Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE redefines the traditional restaurant model by placing a farmer at the forefront of the business and thus creating a new culinary movement focused on collaboration with the region’s top farmers to grow and harvest ingredients dictating the dining destination’s dishes. Led by Peitso, in the unique role of Executive Farmer, FARMHOUSE provides seasonal farm-traceable “seed-to-plate” cuisine, presented in an atmosphere that evokes the restaurant’s name.
Executive Farmer and Menu Philosophy
The FARMHOUSE experience is deep-rooted in Southern California’s agriculture community and Nathan Peitso’s family farming legacy. As Executive Farmer, Peitso harnesses his heritage, along with teachings garnered from his mother, Andrea Crawford, long-revered by chefs for her expertise in farming through Kenter Canyon Farms, which will be reflective in a carefully crafted menu that is indicative of the region’s seasonality. Peitso plans each season’s rotating menu months in advance through the selection of seeds and varieties of produce utilizing his relationships with an assortment of local farms and network of purveyors beyond Kenter Canyon Farms—including the planting and harvesting of exclusive ingredients for FARMHOUSE.
“We operate in such an exciting time here in Southern California. Looking back to the 70s and 80s, whether here or in France, the culinary world experienced a significant turning point with a larger focus on utilizing fresh ingredients. Now, the revolution is evolving once again, as seen in the demand for quality over volume and low pricing, opening opportunities for small farms to impact how we eat today,” Peitso comments. “I am thrilled to showcase many of my friend farmers through the restaurant and introduce a variety of products that are oftentimes unavailable with larger production farms.”
Growing up amongst his mother’s lettuce fields, later morphing into today’s popular Kenter Canyon Farms, Peitso has an innate understanding of a wide range of produce including the best times and places to plant and harvest. During Peitso’s childhood, his mother befriended and grew specific varieties of greens for culinary legends Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. Through those relationships, Peitso witnessed at a young age the birth of the “farm-to-table” movement and has since dedicated his life to supporting farm-traceable food. Much like how his mother provided greens to restaurants, Peitso acts as a conduit, offering dishes made with only top-quality ingredients from hand-picked farms and artisans.
“Throughout Nathan’s childhood, cooking was a form of entertainment for our family. Tightly squeezed into our kitchen, I would put him to work chopping parsley and instilling in him the importance of forgoing fad microwave meals of the 80s and instead developing an appreciation of real, from-the-earth food,” says Crawford. “With the opening of FARMHOUSE, I see the passing of the baton as the teachings of his youth have come full circle, captured by his vision for a farm-forward restaurant.”
FARMHOUSE dishes showcase ingredients at their peak each month—all grown and harvested through ethical farming standards—such as nutty squash; dense baby romaine lettuce simply grilled; ripe heirloom tomatoes; sweet melons; aromatic fresh basil and mint. Looking forward to the Spring 2018 opening, the menu will debut with a focus on peas from Kong Farm, cauliflower from both Weiser Farm and Kong Farms, and carrots from Weiser Farms. As a nod to his personal dedication to the “never ever” farming methodology, responsibly farmed meat, poultry, and sustainable seafood will also be hand selected by Peitso.
“When approaching each season’s offerings, an in-depth understanding of our region’s bountiful agriculture is of the utmost importance,” Peitso says. “At FARMHOUSE, we only work within the specific windows of peakness in Southern California. Through that mindset, FARMHOUSE’s dishes highlight an uncomplicated presentation of each flavor profile, simply cooked on a wood-fired grill or oven. The less manipulation, the better—straight from the soil is always the best.”
The restaurant’s commitment to locally-sourced ingredients extends into the bakery. Drawing once again from his mother’s pedigree, and expertise in sourdough-based bread making, Pietso will rely on his family’s newly opened Roan Mills Bakery for all aspects of the wheat program—including the planting and perfecting of the harvested heirloom wheat through grain-specific milling techniques. Variations of wheat, grown by Peitso and Crawford for flavor and not high yield, will be used –such as the restaurant’s pasta flour which utilizes the ancient grain Durum separated from its natural semolina through a specialty sifting process personally perfected over many months by the mother/son duo. For the daily-produced brioche, FARMHOUSE will use California’s historically most popular wheat, Sonora Gold, known for its deep, nutty flavor. The process of customizing the grain is shown through the removal of 90% of the natural bran and milling slowly ensuring a low temperature to achieve a delicate, light flour for FARMHOUSE’s burger buns and other items.
“For me, FARMHOUSE represents and is inspired by the farming, milling, and baking of my mother,” Peitso states. “From allowing me to play beside her in the lettuce fields as a youngster, to our collaboration on growing and milling of wheat, she provided me with the instrumental tools that would shape how I view food. In my eyes, FARMHOUSE firmly captures the lessons passed down from mother to son; generation to generation.”
Adding to the farm-based menu, the restaurant presents a full bar and craft cocktail program. Offerings include regionally sourced craft beers in addition to a rotating seasonal brew, an approachable California wine list displayed on tap or in traditional bottles, and specialty cocktails with farm-traceable cold-pressed juices.
Space and Design
FARMHOUSE’s design integrates elements and materials of a traditional American farm elevated by contemporary finishes and treatments in a well-balanced aesthetic. Welcoming guests includes a large open kitchen, lined with shelves of canned and preserved items evoking a farmer’s pantry, along with a wood-fired oven and expansive grill. The 7,000 square feet space is seamlessly divided into intimate areas including a “living room” with a marquee fireplace, a “greenhouse” atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a “farmer’s table” enclave. Materials and design elements found throughout the restaurant include craftsman-style moldings, wooden ceilings, slate and oak floors, exposed brick, and vintage wallpaper.
FARMHOUSE is located at 8500 Beverly Blvd. on the street level of Beverly Center in Los Angeles. Convenient valet parking is available by entering the building on Third Street. FARMHOUSE will debut with dinner service on March 17, 2018, followed by lunch and weekend brunch to commence in Spring/Summer 2018. For more information, and to stay up to date on opening announcements, please visit the website: http://www.thefarmhousela.com. An introductory video exploring FARMHOUSE’s philosophy and Nathan Peitso’s background can also be found here.