Farm-to-Table, Continuously Evolving
Farm-to-table dining allows Suman to showcase the finest Iowa ingredients while supporting local farmers, including everything from the wine served to the meats and the flour used in his dishes.
Suman has learned to accommodate for the off-season – just like a gardener or farmer makes year-round plans.
“We do a lot of prepping in the summer and freeze fruits and vegetables for use in the winter,” he says.
While Suman waits for warmer temperatures to serve spring vegetables like asparagus, he uses squash and French fries from potatoes that were cut and frozen last fall and beets that have been stored in the root cellar.
For pork, Suman looks to Berkwood Farms of Des Moines.
Gregg Mooers, key account sales manager for Berkwood Farms, says they have been supplying pork to HoQ since the restaurant opened a decade ago.
“Suman makes his own choices of cuts,” Mooers says. “He uses our ground pork in his breakfast burritos. He does a little bit of everything, and his menu is always evolving.”
Berkwood Farms is a coalition of 80 independent family farmers supplying 100% certified pure heirloom Berkshire pork to customers throughout the U.S. and Japan.
“Our farmers just don’t raise Berkshire pork, they also raise corn, soybeans and beef. They are the farmer you see when driving down the road,” Mooers says.
Mooers believes Suman is a leader as a restaurateur, specializing in the farm-to-table concept.
“His whole business is built around local suppliers, and he works with every local person possible,” Mooers says.
Tofu’s on the Menu
Suman says he purchases tofu from Iowa City.
“It is some of the best I have had,” Suman says. “I have found you can make anything with it.”
From sweet to savory or smooth and even crispy dishes, tofu has earned a place on Suman’s menu.