If you are like us, you love going to The Farmhouse and seeing what is new on the rotating menu while enjoying some classic favorites such as the fried green tomatoes and the chicken and waffles. We had to interview the two behind this adorable and delicious farm to table restaurant, owner Jesse Doerffel and head chef Navejas.
Q: Why did you want to open your own restaurant?
Jesse: I grew up in the industry and have always found my way into the kitchen, be it at home or at work - even when I was in Operations in the Hotel Industry. I love the industry and have always wanted to do something on my own.
Q: What inspired you to use local ingredients and to grow/hatch products on sight?
Jesse: I grew up going to farmers' markets with my family and loved meeting the people behind our food. It became a passion when we lived in San Francisco. We were exposed to the most incredible artisan cheese, milk, seafood, meats and produce. The wonderful thing about Northern California is that you can go to the source of that product almost any time of the year. I knew if I could one day own my own restaurant, I would want to share the story of the producers and their product as much as possible.
Q: When you are not at the restaurant, what is your favorite activity?
Jesse: Really anything that allows me to be outside.
Joel: Riding my bike.
Q: How did you decide on The Farmhouse and the atmosphere for the restaurant?
Jesse: A friend from CSU was overseeing the businesses in Jessup Farms and we met for coffee at Avo's. Within 40 minutes I shared my dream restaurant and farm concept and it just so happened to be exactly the same space and vision that was available. It was meant to be.
Q: What is your favorite meal at your restaurant, The Farmhouse?
Jesse: My friend Bryce Hediger mills us flour at his farm in Nunn (north of Fort Collins) and we use it in our Blue Corn Flour Pancakes. It may be simple but the freshness and purity of the flour makes the texture fun and provides a deep flavor. I add a few of our Farmhouse coop eggs and it's a perfect breakfast.
Q: What is your favorite meal you prepare at The Farmhouse?
Joel: Our braised lamb shank. It was the dish that started it all. Each time its prepared it reminds me of the test kitchen and all the work we did to prepare the entire menu.
Q: What inspired you to be a chef?
Joel: A combination of both of my grandmothers and Chef Carl Kessel. I grew up watching my grandmothers grow foods, dispatch farm animals, and cook traditional dishes they had learned from their mothers. Growing up my grandmothers cooked every meal from scratch and never ate out. Chef Kessel was the first person to ask me if I wanted to learn hot to cook professionally. He took me out of the dish area of a hotel I was working at and taught me the basics and how cook on the cold and hot line.
Q: What is your all time favorite thing to cook?
Joel: My grandmothers red Chile tamales. It takes three days from start to finish. It starts with going to the neighborhood Mexican food market to get all the ingredients which includes the pork shoulder, corn husk, chilies etc ... You have to braise the meat just right and make sure the masa's texture feels right. The best part of the whole process is gathering the entire family to help smear the masa on the husks. This was the best bonding experience between the entire family which always took place before Christmas. Nowadays I share this experience with my kids.
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat in town?
Joel: Jax, I have a serious addiction to oysters.