Chef Robert Lyford: Farm to Famous
Photograph by: Melinda Ortley
The fragrance of flowers fills the air at the entrance of farm-to-table bistro and restaurant Patina Green Home and Market, located in the quaint square of downtown McKinney. The restaurant has been lauded by foodies from all over the country, particularly praised by Food Network for their famous Texas Ham & Cheese—a sandwich layered with hickory smoked ham and smoked cheddar, delicately smeared with jalapeño peach jelly between two slices of jalapeño cheddar loaf—a menu item that placed in Food Network Magazine’s “50 States 50 Sandwiches.” For the past eight years, Market Chef Robert Lyford has been crafting locally-sourced, farm-to-table meals, insisting patrons search for the story in every bite.
“My food is full of stories,"
he says, which is particularly evident in their monthly Market Dinners where narratives are crafted over a Chef’s Tasting of five courses with additional snacks. But it’s more than the food:
"It’s about the experience you have the minute you walk into the door and everything in between until you leave—completely satisfied."
Patina Green is a family affair; Chef Lyford, his wife Kaci, and her mother Luann have operated a successful restaurant for eight years. Chef Lyford cooks, Kaci curates the vintage items that embellish the restaurant (nearly everything is for sale; the space changes daily), while Luann greets each and every visitor that walks in. The boutique eatery carries a small-town, local feel with a national recognition and premiers goods sourced from around the globe.
Patina Green aims to partner with local farms. It’s rare to sit down someplace that can give names and directions to the locations their ingredients came from. For Chef Lyford, it once again circles back to the story: if a farm has a bad year and produces fewer peaches than usual, he’s going to strive to make something beautiful out of each fruit. The story is written in the food...
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