Photo by Haley Bell
Broadmoor Bistro, the restaurant of SMSD’s culinary school, was named by USA Today 10Best as one of the top farm-to-table restaurants in the nation that is “sustainable and scrumptious”. The article, published on December 20, highlights the quality of the food as well as Broadmoor’s innovative use of their urban farm. This allows them to cultivate fresh ingredients straight from the restaurant’s backyard.
“We had no idea that we had a diner/food critic who came on several occasions to dine with us,” head chef Bob Brassard said. “I was totally surprised by the article. I am very happy that what we are teaching is being validated by a third party who apparently has eaten across the country and who has a better outlook on what is happening with ‘Farm to Plate’ throughout the US, not just the KC area.”
In Broadmoor’s 120-seat restaurant, open exclusively on Wednesday evenings, Brassard and and co-head chef Justin Hoffman try to implement the use of herbs and vegetables from their garden as well as locally-grown ingredients coming from the Overland Park Farmer’s Market. This is all in effort to reduce their carbon footprint and promote the nationwide farm-to-table movement.
According to senior Broadmoor student Nora Engelken, the farm-to-table movement means using non-GMO, locally-sourced foods and planning menus around what ingredients are in season. Like many farm-to-table restaurants, Broadmoor houses its very own urban farm, which allows students to see the process of food before their eyes: from seed to harvest to the plate of a Broadmoor diner.
“There is truly a clear difference in walking out to the garden and clipping herbs, or picking vegetables to use for a dish, than getting the herbs/vegetables out of a box to use,” Brassard said. “Using local eggs, produce, meats keeps our local community thriving, while enabling you to see how it was produced and processed.”
All of Broadmoor’s work incorporating garden-fresh ingredients into their menus and their culinary teaching philosophy paid off when they heard of the USA Today article. According to Brassard, Broadmoor was among a list of some of the nation’s most iconic restaurants, such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and Paul Martin’s American Grill in Dallas.
“I’ve always know that Broadmoor is one of the best high school level culinary schools and student-run restaurants in the country,” Engelken said. “And ever since I [learned about the article I] was super shocked and really proud that I had the opportunity to be apart of such an amazing program.”