Seventy-five years ago, most Americans’ relationships to their food was not unlike their relationships to their family: immediate, unexpressed, bound in tradition, ritual, and personality. Today, the commodification of nourishment has become a cornerstone of our food culture. The predominant conception of food trumps expediency and replicability over quality, effortlessness over thoughtfulness, and industry over community. In order to reverse this trend, and reclaim our culinary traditions, the first step is to deconstruct our food into its constituent parts, un-cooking it before we cook it, and reconnect food to its source. The investigation of source goes further back than the kitchen and container: where and by whom the raw ingredients were grown, what methods were used to grow them, how far they traveled to arrive at our table, what was added and taken away, how and by whom they were coaxed into becoming a product or dish, what cultural histories are reflected in those processes. Answering these questions – knowing the source – is, for us, the root of all “good food.” For those of us in our partnership, the source of “good food” begins on the farm. We are the founders and farmers of Full Moon Farms and Moonshine Meats, a collective of small farms that cultivate a diversity of fruits, vegetables, and meat in and around the Athens area and throughout the greater southeast. We have developed a dedicated constituency – customers, apprentices, fellow growers, suppliers, students, neighbors, professors, professionals – deeply connected to the farms and their operations. Farm 255 is the logical extension of our farm enterprise development and community influence.
Farm 255’s cuisine is comfortable yet innovative. Food is farm-fresh, first and foremost, Mediterranean in influence with a Southern culinary drawl. The source of our food is local, sustainable, and apparent: ingredients come from our farms as well as other local sustainable producers, with a great emphasis placed on our personal relationships with the people whose food and drink we incorporate into our menu. Hoping to revive lost culinary traditions, we reacquaint customers with the narrative behind their meal by using historical recipes and artisanal cooking techniques from around the globe. Our open kitchen engages patrons in the cooking process. Menus change daily, as the morning’s harvest frames our culinary choices. We emphasize in-house production of value-added products, including making our own pastries, cured meats, preserves, pickles, etc. We utilize whole animals & all the various cuts of meat throughout our menu. Our cuisine acts as the intermediary between producers and consumers, urging people to discover and celebrate the source of their food.
Until a century ago, almost everything that everyone ate everywhere on earth was organic, free-range, artisanal, and locally-grown or locally-produced. It wasn't special or high-end, it was just food. We hope for our restaurant to help achieve that norm again, and make everyday food genuinely “good food”: locally sourced, seasonal, steeped in tradition and narrative, connecting people to each other, to their community, and to their right to eat and live well.