The Produce Manager Behind Cincinnati’s Best Chefs: Carriage House Farm’s Kate Cook


Illustration by Chris Danger

For the last 10 years, 
Carriage House Farm has been growing produce for chefs, including Jose Salazar and Todd Kelly. Produce Manager Kate Cook lives at the center of that process, making her the lady behind the lettuce.

What’s your role at Carriage 
House Farm? I run a zero-spray 
[no pesticide/herbicide] market 
garden where about half of the product goes direct to consumers through farmers’ markets, then half of it goes to restaurants and retailers.

What else goes on there? Our main product right now is honey. We’ve got 80 to 90 hives right now. That is a crop that we measure in tons. [Because I oversee the garden, not the bees,] I’m only around the bees by proxy. We also board horses. We do some semi-conventional farming, and some larger scale zero-spray crops.

What’s your philosophy as a consumer? We need to be willing to put more value on the food that we buy. We don’t blink at spending hundreds—thousands—of dollars on our electronics. Arguably, our food is as important.

How important is it to keep educating yourself about the business? We have to be geeks about it, because it is not a fixed system. It’s not like we deal with the same conditions all the time. You have to have that inquisitive nature. The moment that you tell yourself that you know everything about this business, you’re done.

Carriage House Farm, carriage

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