Connected by Cast Iron

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The Farmer & The Larder was born of the pair’s mutual passion for sustainably and locally sourced, thoughtfully prepared food. “Growing up between the city and the farm gave me a deep appreciation for where food comes from and what it takes to make it happen,” says Matthew, whose family has owned and farmed land in Brunswick since 1874. “So that became an integral part of how I cook and what I cook with.” And what Matthew usually cooks with in the restaurant kitchen is cast iron, another preference rooted in his family tree. “I always saw my grandma and my uncles cook with it, so it was just the norm for me,” he says. And even though Jovan wasn’t raised in the South, the collection she shipped down from New York—a result of her dabblings in the antiques business—vastly outnumbers the pans Matthew’s ancestors handed down, bringing their total cast-iron count to about 80 pieces. “There’s this timelessness to these pans that’s very impactful,” Jovan says. “It’s cool to just think about the history that’s in this one pan, and all of the history that I’m imparting to it, and all of the history that is going to be made from it.” And in Brunswick, these pieces are adding their own layer of history to the culinary scene.

“We cook just about everything in cast iron,” Matthew says. “These pans are our life’s blood.” And that’s no exaggeration. The house-made bacon jam and braised greens benefit from the consistent heat of the cast iron, and even eggs are cooked in tiny skillets with the help of a generous basting of olive oil. “We know how hardworking these pieces are in the kitchen, so why wouldn’t we use them?” Jovan says. “We use all induction in our kitchen, so cast iron works perfectly for that. Why would we go buy aluminum or stainless steel pans when we have all this beautiful cast iron?” From his great-great grandfather’s pieces to Jovan’s vintage chicken fryer and #9 skillet, the couple’s collection gets quite the workout between their home and restaurant kitchens.

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