Edible South Shore & South CoastAugust 7, 2018
When Chandra Gouldrup opened The Farmer’s Daughter (TFD) in Easton in 2013, it was clear that local food was going to be one of the restaurant’s primary raisons d’etre. Raised by a father who grew up in a farming family and a Sicilian mother who filled her childhood with happy culinary memories, Chandra was rooted in local food long before it became the watchword of the culinary world. With 32 local partners listed on their website, providing everything from seafood to syrup, TFD draws food lovers of all stripes—from locavores to people who simply relish delicious food.
And, eager to spread the gospel of good food, Chandra notes for guests, “who might not be in tune with where their food comes from, we try to have our service staff use it as a talking point and spread the word!” Although dinner is offered Thursday-Saturday evenings, TFD is largely a daytime spot serving breakfast and brunch. Diners flock to the restaurant for its riffs on classics, including chicken and waffle benedict and brioche French toast. In April, Chandra and her business partner, David Howe, opened Towneship, the much-anticipated second restaurant housed in an elegantly renovated former church just down the street from TFD. Towneship’s menu is also built around locally sourced food but will focus on dinner service in its soaring, multi-level dining room and outdoor dining space.
Chandra has formed a dynamic partnership with many of the farms that supply TFD and, as she observes, “We are committed to cultivating our relationship with our farmers not only in terms of food but in terms of education and knowledge. The term ‘knowledge is power’ is truly specific to a farmer/chef relationship. It’s what directly contributes to my inspiration for each plate.” As with all good partnerships, communication is key. Chandra and her team talk to (or text) most of the farms daily and visit them frequently.
At TFD, the menu changes with the seasons but, Chandra explains, three to four specials are prepared daily that, “highlight unique items from the farms that may have a shorter season or limited availability.” Langwater Farm, located just down the road from TFD, supplies much of the restaurant’s produce, and Feather Brook Farm, located in Raynham, even increased its flock size so TFD could source all of their eggs from a farm they know well and trust.
How does a restaurant with a locally focused menu deal with winter? While it may mean limited produce, TFD sources many other types of local food throughout the year, including eggs, dairy, meats, bread, coffee, and maple syrup. When only late harvested root crops are available, Chandra and her culinary team get creative. She muses, “How can we showcase something as simple as beets in a variety of ways? We have even made pancakes with them…beets are ‘Nature’s Red Velvet.’”