Idaho’s Farm to Chef Connection: KIN Restaurant + Fiddler’s Green
Idaho Preferred’s “Idaho Farm to Chef Connection” is a special video series featuring chefs from throughout the state of Idaho who are committed to using locally-sourced ingredients from Idaho farm and ranch families. We are delighted to feature these culinary artists and their farm-to-fork restaurants.
Chef Kris Komori of KIN + Art Haus Bar in collaboration with Justin Moore of Fiddler’s Green Farm
Meet Kris Komori, four-time James Beard nominee and co-owner of KIN Restaurant and the Art Haus Bar in Boise. He curates culinary experiences from the ground up.
Kris makes regular visits to the Treasure Valley’s local farming community on the outskirts of Boise. KIN features a rotating, seasonal menu, so it’s vital that Kris knows what is coming out of the ground. These rotating menus last about 4 to 5 weeks, falling into the natural progression of Boise’s local growing seasons.
Walking the crops and the greenhouses, he gathers fresh produce for the week and takes inspiration for future seasonal menus at KIN Restaurant. For Kris, these frequent farm visits are as much about supplying his kitchen with quality ingredients as they are about nurturing solid relationships within his community.
And community is what the restaurant and bar are all about. The very name KIN refers to their crew’s close relationship to each other. Many have been involved from the beginning, even following Kris and co-owner Remi McManus to KIN after the closing of their award-winning State & Lemp in 2018. Longevity isn’t common among restaurant workers, but here there is a truly familial feel.
That same sense of kinship radiates out to the farmers they use. Justin Moore of Fiddler’s Green Farm has become a close friend and it shows as Kris and Justin joke while they tour the farm’s spring produce.
As Kris surveys the crops and selects ingredients for the current menu, he’s inspired by what’s coming on and dreams ahead about the next menu.
Photos: Guy Hand
“When we know the farmers, they trust us a little bit more, and they understand our weird requests which are to get seedlings, seeds, ripe things and then get them at the end of their lifecycle as well and we preserve them that way so they can be served in the same dish.”
Kris admits that KIN’s business model requires a little more work, but he proudly beams when he shares the benefits are well worth the effort. Sourcing ingredients from local farms gives KIN a unique menu that would be hard to replicate any other way. This model fosters genuine friendships with local farmers, creating trust that can’t be found outside of the effort, and KIN’s staff gains an “insider” knowledge (and a greater appreciation) for seasonal, local eating. This translates into a truly authentic, farm-to-fork culinary experience patrons won’t soon forget.