Local + Mission = Great Eatery


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Story and Photos by Jake Richardson

SAN FRANCISCO — Local Mission Eatery is a very appropriately named restaurant. Situated in San Francisco”s Mission District, the eatery serves up food purchased solely from local farmers” markets.

What’s more, when the dining area and kitchen were being reconstructed before opening, the restaurant used only locally-sourced materials.

Co-founders Yaron Milgrom and Jacob Des Voignes (who is also the eatery’s chef) wanted to create a business that was well-integrated into the surrounding community and supported local businesses in addition to serving top-quality food. Recently they explained their approach to community participation and local food sourcing at an event for the American Institute of Architects San Francisco. Architects and friends gathered to hear about the construction of the kitchen, restaurant, and bakery.

One of the more striking aspects of the interior space is a wall covered with small wooden tiles depicting scenes of public life on 24th Street in the Mission District, from Valencia to Vermont streets. The tiles were recycled from another building north of San Francisco. Local artist Jon Fischer worked with Milgrom to prepare the tiles, and Fischer took the photographs simply by walking around in the neighborhood. Images he captured of the community were printed on the wooden tiles. Tiles were chosen because they are an integral part of Latin American culture and are found throughout the Mission District.

Another important visual aspect of the interior is a very long span of redwood slats on the ceiling, beginning near the entrance and ending near dgfev online casino the area where the bakery entrance is located in the rear. The eatery is somewhat narrow, but very deep, and the redwood slats provide a consistent visual path toward the back of the space. The slats themselves were discovered by accident, when Milgrom and his crew were removing old sheetrock. They were pleased to find such valuable wood and decided to use it in their project. Redwood also is a local tree, so it fits the eatery’s theme of using local resources.

Some other elements fitting the theme are a library of several hundred food books for customers, so they can read while they are eating or waiting for their meals, and sharing the space with a bakery which is run by Des Voignes’s wife.

A large counter borders the open kitchen. It was designed to resemble a sushi bar, where customers can see the food as it is prepared and talk directly with the chef. This kind of openness also is part of the culture of Local Mission Eatery. The counter is made of zinc and was made on-site.

All the food prepared and served is purchased by the chef and his staff at local farmers markets, in order to support the community and to build long-term relationships with other residents of the community and region. Personal relationships between chefs and farmers allows for better communication and sharing of knowledge. Ultimately this kind of personal interaction can help facilitate better dining experiences for customers, because of the care taken by the chef to know the produce sources and how they are being grown.

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