Fresh From the Garden 9

Dogwood Southern Table’s Fresh Fare

Southerners are inherent gardeners. We love our tomatoes warm from the sun and our carrots fresh from the earth. That’s probably why farm-to-table restaurants like Dogwood Southern Table of Rare Roots Hospitality are our favorite.

The Southern tradition of growing and cooking is familiar to Chef Ryan Daugherty. “My grandmother, she was an older Southern cook. I remember Sundays peeling green beans and shucking corn and getting flour just right for fried chicken. She had a lot of soul, a lot of love.”

Daugherty infuses his cooking at Dogwood Southern Table with that same kind of soul and love, in part through the genuine relationships he fosters with local farmers. “We do a tremendous amount of searching for produce and meats,” he explains. The fruits, veggies and meats that go into Dogwood’s dishes are fresh, seasonal and local.

Though Daugherty looks everywhere for the best ingredients, he also intentionally cultivates connections with farmers, creating a symbiotic relationship that lasts. “Our biggest farm we use is Boy and Girl Farm. We have a pretty unique relationship with them,” he says. “They bring in the majority of what we put on the plate; their Wednesday deliveries are incredibly large. We switch around our menus to what they’re growing for the season.” By cultivating such special relationships with their providers, Daugherty’s persuaded some of them to dedicate plots and produce to Dogwood.

Because the menu is dependent on what local farmers are growing in their gardens, it’s constantly shifting. “But your favorite dish always comes back around!” Daugherty promises.

With garden-fresh ingredients, Dogwood serves healthy, satiating meals—but Daugherty recognizes that can be a daunting prospect at home. “Look at a few things at the farmer’s market each week and see what you’d like to get to know. Build better rapport with those vegetables, handling and cooking them, and soon you’ll have a collection of new, healthy recipes.”

Like this pan roasted duck with fresh veggies! Explore your farmer’s market—or your own garden—to incorporate new vegetables into the dish.