Matt Jennings -- Providence, RI
Farmstead, La Laiterie, and Farmstead Lunch
Providence, Rhode Island
“By the time the first ingredients start poking through, I am so ready,” says Matt Jennings. “After getting through winter, to see food growing again is monumental for the psyche. I think in New England we really do appreciate it more when it comes along. It starts for us in February. We sit down with our farmer friends and a calendar, and there’s a nice collaboration about what they can grow for us. That’s when the anticipation begins to build. I think about the spring vegetables–I dream about them.”
Matt doesn’t work just with farmers. He’s in constant contact with the small producers who bring him meat, fish, and dairy; his New England cheese selection is unrivaled. “We use as many local ingredients as possible–not because it’s trendy, but because it’s a lot easier,” he notes. “And fun. It’s just a natural thing to do. Rhode Island is really fertile. We’re in an agriculturally unique geographic position.”
Rhubarb gets Matt and his wife, Kate (also his partner and pastry chef), chomping at the bit. “It’s one of the first things to pop up,” he says. “And it’s sort of ridiculous looking–like ‘Sideshow Bob,’ the Simpsons TV character.”
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