and Chef Eugenio Martignago spends hours in the kitchen and hours at his 1-acre organic farm about four miles away in Carlsbad.
The farm is a place where he can relax and get creative. Martignago tells Carlsbad Patch, “I like being a gardener better than a chef right now, but I have to be at the restaurant more than I can be here.”
Gardening seems to come naturally for Martignago. Within a year, his farm has produced organic white eggplant, baby zucchini, yellow beets, heirloom tomatoes, and garnishes such as candy, pineapple and chocolate mint. “Chocolate mint is used on desserts,” explains Martignago.
“Having your own farm is a chef’s dream come true,” says Martignago. “Being able to experiment in the planting and harvesting process infuses a whole new level of creativity to the menu offerings at Bistro West and West Steak & Seafood.”
Martignago starts his day at the farm hand-picking his daily selections before heading to the Bistro West and West Steak & Seafood kitchens. Popular menu specials such as a stuffed zucchini flower with truffle goat cheese with mushroom sauce, heirloom tomato Caprese salad, and the daily organic garden vegetable sauté, change seasonally with each harvest from the West farm.
The vegetables pulled right out of the garden taste amazing. We even tried a carrot with dirt still on it and agreed it was one of the best tasting carrots. However, back at the Bistro West, we were amazed by the artistic ways Martignago incorporated his gardening into dishes and even more amazed by the delectable taste.
In the future, Martignago expects to offer public tours of the farm and incorporate special “fresh daily” dinners with wine pairings, specialty cooking classes and a weekly farm report for dinner guests at both restaurants. If you ever get a chance to take a tour of his farm, be sure to go.