story by KATE BROSSEAU
recipes courtesy of Colby and Megan Garrelts of bluestem photos by Bonjwing Lee
When the notion strikes to incorporate local ingredients into meals, it only makes sense to look to local experts who lead by example. One minute spent glancing at the item order sheets at Bluestem solidifies chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts as Kansas City authorities on sourcing seasonal, local items.
“We get ingredients from all sorts of farmers—Crum’s Heirlooms, Thayne Palmberg, cheeses from Green Dirt Farms,” Colby says. “We now own a farm with my dad in Parker, Kansas, so this is the first year we’re able to grow our own herbs, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage; the list goes on.”
For the gorgeous plates Garrelts concocted on the next page, he can point to locations on a map of Missouri and Kansas to tell where they find the ingredients. The tomatoes are from Crum’s, and they order pork through Arrowhead Specialty Meats in North Kansas City, which often leads them to Paradise Lockers in Trimble, Missouri. As for the peaches, “We go down to the farmers markets and buy as many as we can,” Colby says.
Those who aspire to making local purchases a priority often get overwhelmed when trying to sift through the terminology or options, but buying local isn’t the mysterious process it’s made out to be. “Don’t be intimidated. Get out to the markets because they are the best introductions on how to buy local,” Colby says. “Look the people in the face who actually grow this stuff. They know the story behind what they’re selling.”
See their delicious recipes HERE!