Natural Wonders

Four chefs — and one agricultural commissioner — on why they go green

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, Velasco looks forward to serving great seafood. In particular, there's the Mano de Leon scallop—a prized, seasonal, giant deep-water mollusk—which he'll pair with organically grown summer corn made into a spicy, Cajun-inspired dish called macque shoux. And if he has some surplus blackberries from his own home garden, Velasco will bring them in to the restaurant to make some impromptu blackberry margaritas for a few lucky Memphis patrons. For more info on Penjoyan Produce, call (949) 646-5718, or visit www.growersranch.com/penjoyanproduce.htm.

Rick Le Feuvre, Orange County Agricultural Commissioner
A 30-year veteran and graduate of Cal Poly's agricultural program, Rick Le Feuvre is the man responsible for "enforcing state-mandated agricultural and pesticide regulations" and "certifying commercial weighing and measuring devices in the county."

If this sounds like a mundane task, think again: His job is to make sure you get exactly what you pay for at the market. And those pesky fruit flies? Yep. It's his job to protect our farmers from them. Although the federal government mandates the registration of organic growers, it's his duty to do county investigations on an as-needed basis. His role in this regard is tiny (corresponding to a small allotted budget), he says. But we still think it's an important one.

So the next time you bite into that juicy summer peach, you owe a bit of thanks to Mr. Le Feuvre.

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