Farmhouse Flavor: Serenbe Puts a Local Spin on Traditional Southern Cuisine

At the Serenbe Community just outside Atlanta, farm-to-table cuisine gives traditional southern favorites new life.

| March/April 2010

For Marie Nygren, owner of The Farmhouse restaurant in the Serenbe community near Atlanta, there’s just no comparison between a hothouse tomato and one grown in her backyard. A founder of Serenbe, a new urbanist community that includes a 5-acre organic farm, Nygren’s been feeding her own homegrown produce to her patrons for years. “People can taste the difference in the quality of food that’s from a well-grown and well-loved garden,” she says.

Just down the road, Hilary White, executive chef at The Hil restaurant, relishes the opportunity to “order”  homegrown fruits and vegetables from her neighbors. She says her relationship with Serenbe’s farmers has “gone from just choosing from what the farm has to offer to, ‘Can you grow this for me, please?’” She even asked the farmers to grow cornichons—tiny, tart French pickles that require three-times-daily harvesting to ensure proper size and flavor—for her crab fritters and antipasti plates.

Food for all 

Serenbe Farms supplies fresh, organic produce to the entire community through its community-supported agriculture (CSA) partnership. Subscribers pay a fee at the beginning of the season to help fund the farm’s daily operations and, in return, receive enough vegetables to feed a family of four every week from spring through Thanksgiving. Serenbe Farms also provides produce for a weekly farmer’s market that runs from April through October. Held in the heart of the town, the market features live music, local artisans, special events and, of course, fresh produce.

Arugula, Pear, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

Fresh spring greens star in Serenbe's Arugula, Pear, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad with a tangy vinaigrette.

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