National Food Day promotes farm-to-table lifestyle

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Today marks National Food Day, a day designed to help people "eat real," by cutting back on sugary drinks, salted packaged foods and fatty, factory-farmed meats. Instead, food activists suggest you opt for fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.

Chef Javi Perez, of Pomelo, who takes great care in the types of ingredients he uses, shows us how to switch to local meats and produce, and live a more "farm-to-table" type lifestyle.

For instance, the salmon he uses at Pomelo is wild caught, not factory farm raised, and is flown in straight from San Francisco within 24 hours of being caught. According to, "October 24th is a day to make changes in our own diets and take action to solve food-related problems."

Pomelo's practices farm-to-table regularly, as it's located on one of Arizona's first citrus farms. In fact, the pomelo and cocktail citrus trees still grow on the property, and is what inspired the name of the restaurant, and many of the menu items.

The restaurant was built around a vintage 1920s Southwestern Territorial house, with original fireplaces, ceilings and rich, warm, décor in the lounge. It also boasts a private wine cellar. For more info: 

Pan Roasted Wild Salmon
Served with Black Rice, topped off with a shaved fennel salad and wild arugula tossed in a savory red beet dressing. All of this is plated over the Pomelo beurre blanc.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1 cup white wine
2 cups black rice
5 cups water
3 tbs GF tamari
2 tbs rib rub
1 tbs Sriracha
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 tbs butter
sauté the garlic in the olive oil until it just begins to brown. Add the white wine and reduced by half. Add the rice, water, Tamari, Rib rub, Sriracha, rice vinegar and sugar. Bring to a low simmer and cover until the water has been almost absorbed. allow to sit for 15 minutes to finish cooking. add the butter and its ready to be served.
Shaved Fennel & Arugula Salad
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup shaved fennel
2 tbs beet dressing
tossed together
Beet Dressing
1 cup champagne Vinegar
2tbs Dijon Mustard
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup honey
2 egg yolks
1 tbs black pepper coarse
2tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs poppy seeds (roasted)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 red beet powder
3 1/2 cups canola oil

Put all ingredients in a blender and spin for 1 minute. Add the oil in a slow stream until a thick emulsification has formed. Get a 10 inch skillet and get it smoking hot, and 1 teaspoon of canola oil and have a 7oz salmon skin off ready with salt and pepper.

Seared the salmon for 2 minutes or until its crispy brown, then flip it over and put the pan with the salmon into the oven at 400 degrees for 3 minutes. for the plating you should start with a nice circle of the Pomelo beurre blanc in the center of the plate that you've chosen to use. Add a spoon full of black rice in the middle of the beurre blanc then add your salmon over the rice and top it with your fennel and arugula salad.

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