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The best farm-to-table restaurants around the world right now

Babylonstoren, South Africa

Far more than a fleeting trend on the food scene, farm-to-table dining is rooted in longevity. As our consciousness around sustainability has grown, so too has the desire to really understand where our food is coming from. PORTER unearths the restaurants serving dishes that are locally sourced and produce-led – and all the more delicious for it

Lifestyle
South Africa’s Babylonstoren makes the most of its incredible Winelands location

Babylonstoren, Franschhoek, South Africa

Most famous for its wine, Babylonstoren – set in the Winelands of South Africa – is one of the oldest estates in the region. But the way this working farm showcases some of the country’s finest produce also extends to its spectacular fruit and vegetable garden. Here, more than 300 varieties of plant are either edible or have medicinal properties. They are grown in methods as organically and biologically sustainable as possible and supply the two farm-to-fork restaurants. Committed to its practice, the farm also offers masterclasses in how to grow your own produce at home.

Handsome, historic Heckfield Place, where the kitchens are under the direction of Skye Gyngell

Heckfield Place, Hampshire, UK

Under the culinary direction of Skye Gyngell – who won Petersham Nurseries Café a Michelin star – the Georgian hotel estate of Heckfield Place in Hampshire has a number of dining options to delight guests, from the pared-back-yet-elegant Marle restaurant to open-fire cooking at Hearth. Created from the wide variety of produce picked daily from Heckfield’s biodynamic farm and charming gardens – well worth a wander around – the ever-evolving menus celebrate simplicity and seasonality.

Tours, workshops and, of course, eating are the name of the game at Singapore’s Open Farm Community

Open Farm Community, Singapore

As its name suggests, Open Farm Community is as much about food as it is about sharing knowledge with the locale, helping them reconnect with their roots. This means people are able to explore the many facets of food through tours of the vegetable gardens and fruit orchards, gardening workshops and, of course, eating. As well as curating its nourishing menus from the area’s freshly harvested crops, the urban oasis invites local farmers and chefs to showcase their seasonal produce and creativity to diners.

Twins Garden, Moscow, Russia

With its place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Twins Garden – headed up by identical twins Ivan and Sergey Berezutskiy, the former of whom worked with El Bulli’s celebrated chef, Ferran Adrià – is dedicated to its philosophy of supplying the produce used in its kitchen. Dishes are forward-thinking and vegetable-centric – the same love and care is applied to veg as some chefs indulge to meat. About 70 percent of the ingredients come from the farm located just outside the city, which grows around 150 types of fruits, vegetables and herbs, while any surplus is fed to the animals they breed, which turns the venture into an almost zero-waste project.

Il Canto del Maggio, Tuscany, Italy

The hidden treasure of this agriturismo farm stay is the picturesque hillside garden, where the herbs and vegetables used in its dishes are grown. Located at the heart of a historic hamlet, Il Canto del Maggio’s restaurant plates up a tasting menu with an emphasis on rustic Tuscan cuisine, all rooted in the ingredients available at the time. Guests are also invited to sit around the garden’s central stone table to try the fresh produce as soon as it has been picked.

Twins Garden’s Ivan and Sergey Berezutskiy, which features on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
Chez Panisse: the original farm-to-table restaurant, and still one of the best

Chez Panisse, California, USA

It’s impossible to talk about farm-to-table dining without mentioning Alice Waters’ Californian flagship, Chez Panisse. Widely celebrated as the source of the movement, around 50 years ago, the restaurant still serves its seasonal, regional fare, which champions “vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight from the sea”. The concept may no longer be revolutionary, but the roots are still firmly planted here.