The Kitchen Café community bistro takes the community part of their name very seriously. The Boulder, Colorado restaurant provides a simple, rustic setting where friends, families, and neighbors can gather to enjoy great tasting, unpretentious food and a world-class beer and wine list. Meals can be ordered family style any day of the week and weekday “community hours” feature shared plates and drink deals. Everything about this place invites you to enjoy the atmosphere of togetherness.
But The Kitchen’s commitment to community doesn’t end there. The restaurant is 100% wind powered. Almost 100% of leftover food and food scraps are either given to staff at the end of their shift, composted, or recycled. And the menu evolves with the seasonal availability of mostly local herbs, greens, vegetables, and meat.
“Depending on the time of year, upwards of 70% of our ingredients are sourced locally,” says Adam Watts, a Kitchen chef. “We change our menu to what’s available.” These local ingredients are fresher, save hundreds of food miles, and compost created from the scraps ends up back on the farmer’s fields. “The quality is absolutely better,” Adam says. “When you have to wash off the dirt, you know it’s fresh.”
Sustainable practices and a community oriented atmosphere gives The Kitchen a lot of credibility when they call themselves a “community bistro.” The great thing about The Kitchen, however, is just how serious they really are about their Boulder neighborhood. They have partnered with local non-profit The Growe Foundation to help sponsor the Garden To Table initiative, which educates local kids about the cycle of food, from planting seeds to harvest to the final product on the dinner table.
Garden To Table takes a hands-on approach with 9 schools from the Boulder Valley School District. Each school plants a garden, harvests vegetables and greens, and then, with the help of The Kitchen chefs, create salads and dishes to be eaten at school benefit functions. To chef Adam Watts, it’s all about educating future generations about where food comes from. “We want to create a new culture that understands garden-to-table ethics,” he says.
The Kitchen represents a new movement in food service, one that focuses on the benefits of not only serving good tasting food, but sustainable food as well. To The Kitchen, it’s just another part of being a member of a community.