Interview with Farm to Table Chef, Philip Day – Foodie Friday – Healthy Lifestyle Show
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Interview with Farm to Table Chef, Philip Day – Foodie Friday – Healthy Lifestyle Show


hi everyone and welcome to Happy Trails Hiking this is foodie Friday and I have a
really special guest for you today on foodie Friday for the healthy lifestyle
show. I get to go to a restaurant and I get to meet the chef and talk to him
about farm-to-table. chef Phillip comes to the rack house as well as Tompkins by
the rack house with almost 20 years of professional kitchen experience he most
recently served as the executive chef at Cafe Soleil in the Central West End here
in st. Louis previous to Cafe Soleil Phillip was the executive chef at the
Lake Forest Country Club in Lake st. Louis well studying culinary arts in st.
Louis Community College Phillip apprenticed under chef Marcel Carnivale
at Cafe de France for four years eventually reaching his first sous chef
position at the age of 21 Phillip has also held sous chef positions in the
kitchens of chez Leon and canoe regional American fare he’s also spent some time
in the kitchen of James Beard Award winning restaurant niche can’t wait for
you guys to get to meet it come on mom Thompkins by the rack house is on
historic Main Street in st. Charles Missouri it is a newer restaurant and
where I got to sit down with chef Phillip all right guys this is chef
Phillip and I met chef Phillip at the Rack House kitchen and we have two
restaurants we have the rack house in Cottleville and then this is our second
location Tompkins The Rack House. so this is our second venture more into the
farm-to-table dining experience we do cool and so this restaurant is downtown
st. Charles in the old what they call the mother-in-law house correct yes
this was the mother-in-law restaurant okay excellent and I really wanted to
talk to see you chef felt today because the farm-to-table things I ate well what
when I ate at the back house smells like ah this is phenomenal and for such a
small area not a metropolitan area it was it was wonderful wonderful food and
we just enjoyed our evening so much can you talk a little bit about your
methodology to cooking and how you sure first and foremost I always look at
what’s in season that’s the most important thing I just believe that
eating with the seasons you’re gonna have the quality of produce and the
right flavors at the right time of the year that’s another thing I think that
that’s like the most important thing in creating okay cool um so your eye right
outside that your menu turns over every six weeks roughly every six weeks
sometimes we hope they’re a new dish on you know after three weeks or I might
not like something so we changed it off you know I mean it it’s an ever evolving
so what right now we’re in the fall run an early winter what is your favorite
thing to make right now um currently we’ve got Brussels sprouts are are huge
right now any of the cabbage is on the cabbage freak so I like cabbage beets
any kind of root vegetables are starting to come in we do a pumpkin soup right
here there’s awesome you know we we had orange fresh orange juice to it and like
some some of those those fall flavors just you know they really meets the
seasons so here in Missouri do you find that farm-to-table it’s harder in the
winter because trees you know so unfortunately you know I would love
to be 100 percent you know and but when you’re working with small farms they may
only have a certain amount of things or or something that the farmer thought was
gonna be ready next week is not ready for two weeks
so you know there’s the necessary evil of using distribution companies and
produce companies unfortunately but you know we try if we can get it we try to
make sure it comes from a local season or local
during the season you know some things like tomatoes on a burger you know
people expect to have a tomato you know and lettuce on their burger in January
unfortunately yeah doesn’t doesn’t mean that the it’s the top quality but what
I’ll do is you know there’s a company called Tony’s Tomatoes that they grow
tomatoes in a hothouse all year long okay and you know they’re not as good as
what I would get you know heirloom tomatoes in July or August but they are
still better than you know the grocery store burn that kind of thing so you
know that’s one one way we try to combat some of that yeah and then you know
there will be times in the year especially you know January and February
where the daylight is really dim and you know the temperatures and everything
really just kind of goes through this period for you know five six eight weeks
there just doesn’t grow you know and we have to you know deal with you know what
what the you know we use a company called eat here st. Louis they you know
they I they have root cellars and things like that you know where they can store
potatoes and things like that a coop like he’s a he’s a company you know he’s
a for-profit company that’s about what he does it’s it’s pretty neat like so
he’s into the whole farm-to-table movement that kind of thing too so what
he has done is created a company that it’s kind of like the middleman between
me and the farmer I’m a chef chefs we work a lot of hours of hour in the
kitchen we don’t have a lot of time for going out the forums you know like I see
you on a lot of the TV shows I mean that’s great it’s some chefs do but I’m
definitely on the line three or four times a week right you know we may be
doing some office work or whatever so it’s really hard for me to get to those
those farms not that we don’t do that we do do some of that but uh he’s got this
great company where he goes and he’s like okay this is an organic farm that’s
producing this product and what he’ll do is there
shoot me a list every week and they’ll say you know such-and-such farms has you
know this this week and it you know it’s really great or whether these pumpkins
come from this farm this pumpkin from that but not just produce two he’s got
you know he’s got meats he’s got a dairy he’s got like grains and things like
that so you know and my things like maple syrup and you know for my Southern
Illinois that’s another thing too is I want to support the local community you
know I mean we’ve gotten so far away from the small farmer and you know my
father-in-law is a small farmer and you know they struggle and and you know
compared to some of these large you know corporate farms it’s it’s really
important I think for everyone sure would you say that or what percentage
what of yours stop Foods I would say in summertime were in the upwards of eighty
to ninety percent okay winter time probably drops down to you know thirty
thirty to fifty percent good things here might be a little different we haven’t
got some wonder yet because we have such a small menu here I can I can go okay
well you know we’re only gonna have thirteen items on the menu so I can make
sure everything at the rack house we got a larger menu so it’s not huge by any
means but and there’s some things that have to stay on that menu cause staples
so you might have less okay but you know I’ll still have you know butternut
squash from a local farm I’ll still has pumpkin from the local farm you know
things like that you know that’s great you worked with local farms um is it are
there anything you just want to give a shout out to yeah there’s actually a
couple that we are we have a really great relationship with first one all of
our mushrooms come from a place in it’s it actually indoors farm oh really
so it’s actually an industrial park we’ve rented a large building and then
if you go inside he’s got these little they’re like special climate houses say
he grows mushrooms throughout they’re in each house has a different type of
mushroom each house has a different moisture
level and it’s very scientific so I you know he’s he’s producing it you know
right there in O’Fallon Missouri mushrooms naturally we get oyster
mushrooms we get our end of the woods mushrooms shiitakes he also grows some
of our microgreens for us so a little miniature baby desert and then you know
they’re really packed with flavor and in a lot of you know vitamins and things
like that and they also make the dishes look really pretty you know oh sure
there’s a farm in Wentzville Missouri I actually grew up with the owners
together they it’s called lucky dog farms lucky dog farm and they they’re
located in Louisville organic farm they grow everything from our lettuce mix
tomatoes in the summer to the most beautiful turnips that you can imagine
like just pristine and white and all the same size which is some yeah and they
they actually put up a hoop house last year so they do some indoor stuff so you
know hopefully in the wintertime and in the colder months we’ll be able to have
some yeah well we’ll make sure that we check out both of those forms that’s
good I think JT from mushrooms naturally you can catch him at the ones or the
lake same of those farmers market on Saturday mornings definitely in the
spring in the summer and then I believe Bryan and Darlene are open to them I
don’t know um I’d be interested in seeing some of the dishes and things
that you make is it possible that we could go back into the kitchen sure we
haven’t quite open you open here in 15 or 20 minutes so okay before we head
into the kitchen I had to take a gander at the wine collection it’s green lucky dog farms we have they
even have this little purple mustard green then you can see it’s real pretty
we use that for a lot of garnish like three or four times before we even so
when it comes in comparative stuff that we would get from like a lower
distribution company I mean it just looks alive so you just you know every morning we get here we
feed our mother and we also we start our usually it’s a mixture wheat flour and
white flour we try to use a highfalutin bread flour as we use this for technical
service with whipped butter that we make and we also make our own butter with
culture using some vocal yogurt and we let it sit for a certain amount of hours
and then with the butter and then we bake our bread we use the sandwiches we have roasted we also do we topped it
with some white cheddar cheese from our cute Creamery and some of our our salads
that we slice really thin and roast some want that make nice little croutons so so we start with some pre roasted
process that we just notes in a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and
then we throw some of these leaves in as well and these guys will go into the
oven with some of our roasted mushrooms these are actually growing wild right
now so there are some some times of the season that we will get some of the
forest mushrooms from JT and mushroom natural man look this so we’ll do that so yeah and some
roasted mushrooms we’re putting into the bowl right into our Bowl
maybe vinaigrette so this is made from a local maple syrup that we get from
Southern Illinois a little bit of olive oil and a little mix and then just a
little bit dijanna and whole-grain mustard so we just toss that salad right
in the center of our plate lovely thank you so much for meeting
with us today oh no problem in thank you for doing local foods here in the state
Charles County area absolutely thanks for Thompkins by the rack house has a
lovely dining room it’s perfect for historic downtown the st. Charles I
really want to thank chef Phillip and the staff at Thompkins restaurant for
letting me film this interview today if you’re in the st. Charles area be sure
to stop in for a meal and let them know that happy trails hiking sent you thanks
for joining me for the show today it is always an honor to have you here on
happy trails hiking remember to go out and live the life you love today and
until next time also remember you are not replaceable thanks guys

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