The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

In the Kitchen with Chef Tim Kilcoyne

In the Kitchen with Chef Tim Kilcoyne

In the Kitchen

April 27, 2008

In the Kitchen with Chef Tim Kilcoyne

Tim Kilcoyne
Executive Chef and Owner 
The SideCar Restaurant
Ventura, CA

Tim Kilcoyne, 30, is the Executive Chef and owner of The SideCar Restaurant in Ventura, California. Having grown up in the agricultural community of Antelope Valley, Kilcoyne developed a deep love for the farming profession. His close relationship with local farmers is evident in his cooking, and his restaurant is well known for offering fresh, simple, seasonal food. Recently, The SideCar Restaurant began offering monthly “Farmer Dinners,” where guests are treated to four course meals featuring fare from – and conversation with – a local farmer.
What is the main focus of your cooking?
My main focus is high quality, seasonal ingredients.
Is there a particular nutritional focus of your menus?
By using seasonal, local ingredients we are getting produce at its peak
quality. In turn, it is also at its peak nutritional value. By it being local, the nutritional value isn't lost in travel.
What is your relationship with local farmers?
We keep very close ties with the farmers we buy from. This is
the best way to keep ahead of what is to come. We discuss with them what
is coming into season and also give input as to what we may want grown
just for us.
Are you incorporating locally grown foods into your dishes? How?
Yes. We are incorporating locally grown foods into all of our dishes. All
the produce we use at the restaurant is grown within a 100-mile radius
of the restaurant.
What are the major concerns today of your patrons when it comes to dining
out? And how are you addressing them?
Currently, the major concerns of our patrons are affordability and health. The way we cook and write our menus takes care of both of these concerns. In terms of affordability, since we purchase directly from farmers, and have eliminated the middle man, we can keep our costs down. In terms of health, the season tells us what to eat. In the spring and summer the produce that is available lends itself to lighter dishes, whereas fall and winter produce tends to be a bit heartier. And again, since we purchase directly from farmers within a 100-mile radius, there is no time for the produce to nutritionally denature.
How important is sustainability? How important is traceability?
Both sustainability and traceability are very important to me because I
believe that our patrons deserve to know where what they are eating has come from and that it has been grown, raised or handled in a sustainable manner.
What steps does your restaurant take toward conservation?
One of the biggest things we have done at the restaurant is implement a
strict recycling plan. The second biggest thing we have done is to lightly flavor our tap water to make it more desirable than bottled water. In this way we have reduced the amount of bottles that need to be recycled by over half.