Otowa began its life as a village restaurant wholly dependent on close partnerships with local farmers, and, today it maintains these deep connections. Our chefs understand that farming is more art than science— especially for small farms—and we encourage a multitude of producers to bring in samples of current seasonal produce which we then assess.
Even customers now recommend producers that might be of interest to the restaurant. Our key criteria are quality and flavor: if these are met, we generally purchase the produce. In fact, 99% of our vegetables are sourced locally. By adopting this unusual, inverse philosophy, we have been able to create an impressive menu, almost exclusively from seasonal, local products.
We seek out farmers who share Otowa’s values and take their farming seriously, often working farms handed down through generations. We are also actively encouraging a new generation of young people who are coming together to take on family farms at risk of dying out—a movement that is helping preserve the area’s traditions and culture. And the benefits to our producers stretch beyond revenue—the restaurant’s outstanding reputation brings considerable credibility to the farmers, opening doors for them that might otherwise remain closed.