Meat and Bread chef Carmen Ingham tries out the Farmhand lunch at 10 Acres.

M CHEF – From field to fork with chef Carmen Ingham

10 Acres owner Mike Murphy not only grows most of the vegetables for the restaurant, he also raises pigs, turkeys and rabbits

Growing everything from parsnips to persimmons, 10 Acres is the epitome of local eating. Billing itself as Bistro + Bar + Farm, that pretty much sums it up. Most of the menu is pulled out of North Saanich soil in the morning and on your plate by noon.

“Farm to table is such a popular catch phrase these days,” says Meat and Bread Chef Carmen Ingham. “People love to say it but … this place walks the walk.”

Ingham grew up in the kitchen beside his mother, enjoying food from his Italian heritage. “My mom is Italian, but she was born here. My family acts more Italian than we really are – big family suppers, that sort of thing.”

It was in his mother’s kitchen Ingham learned to appreciate home-grown, as well as home-cooked meals. “I got a part time job in a kitchen when I was going to community college and I fell in love with it right away … that’s 10 years now,” he says.

Originally from Burnaby, Ingham is a Red Seal Chef who spent years honing his skills at the prestigious Sonora Resort, north of Campbell River.

Ingham orders the Farmhand lunch which includes house-made charcuterie; locally sourced cheese; crostinis; pickled vegetables; house-made beer, onion, mustard; candied salmon; pork paté and chicken liver parfait.

Torn between the Salt Spring Island Mussels and the sustainable local fish tacos, I opt for the former cooked in traditional garlic and white wine.

I try a taste of the mustard and share a few of the generous helping of mussels. The mustard is a delicious blend of flavours, as is the rest, Ingham assures me.

“Most people associate shellfish with summer, but they’re much better in the winter, it has something to do with the colder water,” he says, taking a bite.

The mussels do taste fresh and firm, the large, yet thin, slice of garlic toast perched on top is perfect to soak up some of the flavourful broth.

“This (chicken liver parfait) is brouléed with a torch, that’s a nice touch, I’ve never had that before. The pickles are really nice, refreshing,” he says.

As we eat, we talk about the local food movement. “Before things were thought to be better if they were from further away, more luxurious. Now people want their food to come from as close as possible. People are more realistic about their carbon footprint and wasting resources.” That change in attitude also changes the menu which follows the harvest, he says. “It’s created more interesting regional cuisine.”

It’s a sentiment shared by 10 Acres owner Mike Murphy, who not only grows most of the vegetables for the restaurant, he also raises pigs, turkeys, rabbits and chickens for their eggs. What he can’t provide from his 10 acres, comes from other area farms. “Local farmers, you gotta support them,” says Murphy, who also owns Pescatores and The Oyster Bar. “These days people will pay for local, especially for meat products.”

The farm supplies meat and produce and also takes back compost from the restaurant, reusing it on the fields.

“I read on their website they even reuse the vegetable oil to power the farmer’s car,” says Ingham. “It’s pretty interesting.”

10 Acres, 611 Courtney St., is one of dozens of local restaurants participating in Dine Around & Stay in Town, providing special price fixe menus Feb. 20 to March 9. Go to tourismvictoria.com for more information.

 

Just Posted

Cherish: dance, fashion and philanthropy

Oct. 4 fundraiser a collaboration betweren Dance Victoria and Victoria Women’s Transition House

Multiple Juno nominee comes to Oak Bay stage

Andrew Collins Trio play Upstairs Lounge Sept.28

WHL Royals go 2-0 vs. P.G., gear up for weekend test against Kamloops

Three-way tie for first atop B.C. Division as Victoria, Kamloops, Vancouver unbeaten

MATTER OF BEER: Getting Fresh in the Fall

Monday columnist Mathieu Poirier looks at fresh-hopped beers that mark harvest season

REVIEW: A Doll’s House: Part 2 at the Belfry revisits fractured relationships

Sheila Martindale finds the characters in this imagined sequel engaging and accessible

Musicians take note at Victoria music industry conference

Emerging artists and industry professionals come together at Rifflandia Gathering

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

VIDEO: Young B.C. musician sings with the Foo Fighters

Stranger Than Fiction’s Madi Duncan from Port Alberni was invited up on stage at the Vancouver show

Victoria’s Ethiopian community welcomes in the year 2011

Area residents celebrate Ethiopian New Year on Sept. 12, based on the Julian calendar

Mansbridge: iconic Canadian newsman coming to Sidney

Former host of CBC’s The National part of Mary Winspear Centre speaker series

Most Read