The New York Times has finally gotten around to scraping what may be the bottom of the glamorous haute cuisine barrel: the dudes who supply produce to fancy restaurants. Kudos to the Times, though: Vegetables being rushed to fussy chefs turn out to make fairly decent copy (registration required), even if the story’s most harrowing anecdote is the fateful $2,000 “snow peas instead of snow-pea leaves” goof-up.
Typical of the surprisingly badass attitude that seems to infuse the top-flight produce supply industry is this comment from the founder and C.E.O. of Riviera Producer:
‘I learned early that the way to move forward was to ride the wave of four-star chefs,’ Friedman explained, ‘and getting stuff that no one else would get.’
Beyond the business stuff, the piece gives readers a produce-supplier’s-eye view of what’s hot these days: If it’s not marble-sized creamer potatoes, it’s micro amaranth, or rainbow baby cauliflower. Not all of us can own a restaurant worthy of being serviced by a produce vendor who totes 600 different kinds of edibles, but now we can at least dream.