Back in August, Manresa chef David Kinch and farmer Cynthia Sandberg teamed up to deliver a presentation at the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen. As the symposium's theme this year was "Guts," Kinch and Sandberg discussed why it took guts for them to form their exclusive partnership between restaurant and farm. While there are plenty of benefits — Kinch can specify exactly what he wants and can access produce at any stage in the growing process — there are some pretty clear drawbacks to such an arrangement. For one, they note that Sandberg's farm is occasionally hit by infestations or deer raids, leaving Manresa in the lurch. Conversely, there's always the threat of a restaurant shutter.
But despite the challenges, Kinch and Sandberg make it clear that the relationship is worthwhile. They outline the different types of arrangements that chefs can make with farmers and offer advice on how to establish an exclusive relationship like their own. Kinch says, "It's been the single largest challenge that we've had at the restaurant in the past six years, but unequivocally I think it's the most satisfying as well." Here, go watch: