Farm to Plate; Exploring the Relationship between Chefs and Producers
(2015) Farm to Plate; Exploring the Relationship between Chefs and Producers, no. 71.
This research project aims to explore the chef-producer relationship and to investigate the role this plays in the procurement of food in award winning restaurants. Furthermore, the study attempts to locate the issues of provenance, organic and local within this context. In addition, concepts such as quality, the distribution of food and the role that Farmers Markets play in this will be explored. This study was conducted using a qualitative approach. Using a purposive sample, a series of nine semi-structured interviews were carried out with 3 local food producers, 1 local food distributor and 5 highly acclaimed chefs from restaurants in Edinburgh. Using an inductive approach, a thematic analysis of the data was carried out, driven by the theoretical framework developed in the literature review. Issues of ethics, bias, credibility and validity were all addressed. Key findings from the study supported aspects of the literature reviewed and presented new information on aspects of the relationship from the perspectives of both the chefs and producers in this study. The relationship appears to be fundamentally important to the success of their businesses. All participants in the study share a passion and drive to achieve the same end goal of producing and promoting the best quality food produce. Overall the findings satisfied the research objectives outlined, resulting in the research aim being met. Recommendations for this study include possible areas for further research and changes to the methodology that would be of benefit should similar research be carried out in the future. Possible suggestions to improve future chef-producer relationships will also be discussed.