Myszka said he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America because
he heard it was the best culinary school in the world. After
graduating with straight A's, he decided Las Vegas was a good place
to go to school since they open up a restaurant nearly every week
Myszka said he started as a prep cook working with many renowned
chefs. One place he worked was a seasonal restaurant where cooks
unloaded the trucks coming from farms they contracted with, and they
changed the menu daily based on what came in.
Myszka said he was inspired by some of the best chefs in the world,
but really wanted to move back home and start a farm. Reading
Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan was eye opening for him. Myszka
said, "I had a moment of insight that in order for me to truly be
the chef I wanted to become, I needed to learn how to farm."
Myszka said, "I needed to figure out how to connect the cuisine of
our restaurants to the land that is actually producing the food."
Myszka said many challenges and disasters have negatively affected
the land. He also said many people are "overfed and malnourished"
due to not being able to access nutrients we need. Many diseases are
preventable, but food has become more toxic due in part to chemicals
used in farming.
Myszka said farm-to-table chef and author Dan Barber made an
important statement. Barber worries about diminishing resources and
said, "If we would like to feed the world, let's start by
asking how we are going to feed ourselves. Or better, how can we
create the condition that every community can feed itself?"
Barber's statement is the focal point of Myszka's company.
Myszka said Farmer's Markets give access to great foods and great
nutrition and he provided shopping tips. He said it is important to
know the farmer and ask questions about produce and what is in peak
season. Myszka said you should not be afraid to ask for B grade
fruit that is overripe or blemished. Overripe fruit can taste even
When Myszka started farming, he learned of the challenges and it did
not go well at first. Myszka said before he opened the restaurant,
he had to learn more about farming. He and his business partner sold
dinner parties where they brought vegetables and meat they raised,
and prepared several courses in people's homes. He would talk to the
guests about the food used.
In 2011, Myszka and his business partner opened Epiphany Farms and
Anjou Above restaurants in Bloomington's former Central Station
restaurant. They cook from scratch and prepare "clean" cuisine.
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Myszka said there are keys to clean cuisine. The staff looked at
what products had long and hard to pronounce ingredients,
preservatives, artificial flavors and dyes, refined sugar, and
hydrogenated fats; and threw it all away. The cooks do not use
premade or prepackaged food.
Myszka said peer policing and influence help them encourage healthy
eating. He said healthy eating requires staying away from sugar,
watching out for preservatives in foods with few ingredients, and
avoiding unrecognizable chemicals on ingredients. He said Michael
Pollan's advice to "eat food, not too much, and mostly plants" is
good to heed.
Myszka said documentaries such as "Fed Up," "Fresh, " "Food
Matters," and "Hungry for Change" also highlight the importance of
Myszka said the farm has three greenhouses where they grow some
specialty crops, in addition turnips, greens, radishes, beets, and
cabbage. They also grow Jerusalem artichokes, which are similar to
potatoes but do not cause blood sugar spikes.
Myszka said they use many herbs and a variety of vegetables at the
restaurants. In the winter, they add seasonal vegetables. Epiphany
Farms Enterprises raise pigs, chickens, eggs, and ninety percent of
the vegetables used at the restaurants. They sold over $200,000
worth of food to restaurants last year.
Myszka said he studied good farming practices and found moving cows
from pasture to pasture can heal land. He said reading Four Seasons
Farms showed him how to farm year round using greenhouses and layers
Myszka said all food from the restaurant is composted and all the
trash is recycled. The compost feeds their gardens. He closed with a
quote from Masanoma Fukioka, "The ultimate goal of farming is not
the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human
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