The Fable of Local Food in BC
Food Farm-to-table philosophy and importance of eating close to home.
Chef Trevor Bird tries to keep it short — the distance from farm to table at his Kitsilano restaurant Fable.
That’s a portmanteau of “farm and table” which is fitting for the Top Chef Canada alum-turned-advocate, who has dedicated his career to bringing locally grown meat and produce onto the plates of British Columbians.
“I’ve been cooking my whole life and the restaurants I liked working in the most were the ones that had the strongest ties with their farmers,” Bird says. “In chef-owned restaurants, they really know where their products are coming from and they really care. If you have passionate people growing and producing your food and then cooking your food, you’re going to get an amazing meal.”
For example, the kale and radishes served at Fable are grown less than 10 kilometres away at the University of British Columbia’s campus farm and the eggs used in the restaurant come from BC farms. All legumes are sourced from Canada, and Bird is a fan of hothouse tomatoes during winter months, which are grown across the province.
He’s now branched out into what he calls “the Tinder of meat,” connecting urbanites to BC farmers through an online company he co-founded called Meatme. Various cuts of grass-fed lamb, chicken, pork, and beef are selected by different customers and only when the entire animal is claimed is it shipped out.
Eating close to home is a healthy choice for the local economy, animal welfare, the environment, and farm workers. That means a meal made with ingredients from BC’s backyard is one you can feel good about eating.