In Time: Nate Keller

First it was network TV, now it’s Time magazine. You can’t keep our friend Heidi’s kid — Google Exec Chef Nate Keller — out of the news when it’s about sustainable, local, organic food.

Nate comes in at the middle of this Time piece on local vs. organic, which is partly energized by Wal-Mart’s entry into the organic market — the one that’s “special,” a niche food culture, alternative and blah blah blah.

Nate serves more than 400 purely local meals a day.

“Most chefs simply place orders with suppliers. Good cooks understand that quality and origin are related because of the toll extracted by transportation, but in the end, if Emeril Lagasse wants to serve wild salmon one night, he can just order it from Alaska. Keller, who recently became the chef at another Google restaurant, couldn’t do that. Although just a freckly 30-year-old, he had to plan his menus the way preindustrial cooks did, according to whatever local vendors offered that day.”

His Cafe 150, which opened last year, got its name from Nate’s policy of only using ingredients that are grown within 150 miles of the Googleplex.

The day he opened Cafe 150, his menu included more than 30 featured dishes.

As Food Management magazine described it, “There was a robust broth teeming with slices of beef skirt steak and handmade yam noodles; clams sautèed with disks of handmade Chinese sausage and wisps of fresh basil; a sandwich bar with nine made from scratch condiments, and grilled romaine lettuce, persimmon and poblano chiles; and composed salads such as wild rice and hazelnut, and crispy tofu slaw. ”

And the menu changes every day.


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