Written by Sarah Bulmer for LMT
Whether sourcing a new collection, visiting a chef before the evening rush or building vendor partnerships, this work stimulates all five senses. Sometimes getting our hands dirty is just part of the LMT experience.
In 2017, we dug into the industry even further when we partnered with The Chef’s Garden to sponsor the annual Roots Conference in Milan, Ohio. We were thrilled to jump on board with Farmer Lee Jones and his team of world-renowned culinary talent led by Executive Chef Jamie Simpson. If you’re unfamiliar with the farm, it’s one of the only third-generation family farms in the United States still committed to sustainable, organic farming. Their 300-acre crop of microgreens, edible flowers, and unique vegetal hybrids is unmatched and internationally acclaimed.
This year, we linked up with the team at CVI again to sponsor #RootsCultivate2018. The theme of this year’s symposium—cultivation—wasn’t easy to explain. On day one, John Sconzo, the emcee and host of this year’s talks on the mainstage, kicked off the event by defining “cultivation” as building a process to garner and create something valuable. A product. A team. A partnership.
If I were to define cultivation in our industry, it would be: to lead by example, which the Chef’s Garden has proven to do expertly for three generations. It’s also what we seek to do at LMT, by sourcing sustainably, responsibly and creatively.
If you attended Roots this year, you received a small pink farm knife from Opinel—a brand we partnered with in 2018 that is steeped in heritage and tradition. When Joseph Opinel forged his first hunting knife in 1890, how could he have imagined his namesake brand’s popularity over a century later?
Opinel has blossomed into a sensationally coveted product that chefs and restaurant operators are specifying for their front of house designs now more than ever. For this reason and more, we’re proud to be Opinel’s exclusive foodservice distributor. Cultivation, indeed. Expect to see Opinel, and the other brands we showcased at the farm, on the soon-to-launch retail site at www.chefs-garden.com.
The site will also include new product launches from Robert Gordon Australia – including RGA’s Terrain mugs. This line speaks to a potter’s perfect pour of coffee like few other collections available either in foodservice or the retail market. Our friendship with Sam Gordon, the third generation of this Australian pottery powerhouse, is one we cultivated in partnership with Steelite, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring more of his products to the US market in the coming year.
At the conference, Food Network star Maneet Chauhan was one of the first chefs in America to plate on Robert Gordon’s Earth collection, featured here. R&D was rampant at the conference! Chef Brad Kilgore (Alter, Miami) was able to test #TheArtOfPlating on new and classic Steelite dinnerware for his two new restaurant openings in Miami this year. Kilgore’s concepts have created much buzz in the Magic City and we know his dinnerware selections will too.
There’s no better place to cultivate lasting industry relationships than at the Roots Conference, and many of our vendor partners, from the tabletop to the kitchen, have realized this too. The teams from Vitamix, Rational, Irinox and Henkelman were all there—four brand partners committed to delivering the best in their genres of specialty equipment.
Tilit backed us up with a first-year sponsorship and supplied the culinary team with fresh, custom work shirts and aprons inspired by Farmer Lee Jones daily uniform, the signature red bowtie and overalls we’ve ALL come to know and love.
Our partnership with the Chef’s Garden has redefined and reaffirmed the connection between the farm and the table. Whether we’re in the field, in the kitchen or in the dining room, we know our brand exists in a market steeped in competition. LMT is committed to cultivating the ultimate guest experiences by offering unmatched product knowledge and a cutting-edge portfolio. We couldn’t do it without you.
For more information on products seen here or to receive a free tabletop consultation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.