New farmers – younger and older – share values that can be summed up by Elliot Coleman who, as advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, author, farmer, and pioneer of innovation, advocates “Real farming, real food.” A search for authenticity, honesty, and transparency is at the core of these values, acknowledging “nature’s impeccable design,” a willingness to get down in the dirt, and a desire to share their stories through a variety of channels, sparking innovation and inspiration while producing delicious, nutritious, healthy, and yes, beautiful things.
California is nothing if not diverse. More immigrants call the state home than any other in the country, and as its population continues to change, so too does its definition of home cooking. The historical outward-facing highlight of “California cuisine” used to be the focus on farm-fresh produce, but it’s so much more than that now. Golden State cooks proudly embrace the cultural influences that give the state its rich character: the flavors immigrants have brought from Mexico and South America, from Asia, from the Middle East.☀️As part of Kitchn’s celebration of all things California, we asked 19 cooks from various disciplines—chefs, photographers, writers—to see what dish they think best embodies California home cooking in 2019. The responses we received are as diverse (and wonderfully flavorful) as the state itself. Here's what they said.