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For Mike and his co-owner — and twin brother — Matt, sourcing high-quality meats means buying from local farmers who allow their animals to graze, socialize and generally live the kind of life they’re meant to live. This practice has made Farm Field Table a hit with some of Metro Detroit’s hottest restaurants (customers have included Selden Standard, Chartreuse and Voyager) as well as home cooks. “We’re chefs first, so our foremost goal is to have the best-tasting and best-quality food possible,” says Mike. “It’s a happy coincidence that the best-tasting food also comes from the healthiest, best-raised animals.”
The Romines, who are 31, opened Farm Field Table in 2016 to fill a need they were experiencing as restaurateurs (at the time, they owned an eatery called The Mulefoot Gastropub — named after a breed of pig — in Imlay City, Michigan). “When we opened our restaurant, you couldn’t buy the kind of proteins we wanted, namely meat from pasture-raised, heritage breeds,” says Mike. “So we decided to do it ourselves. We raised them, did all the processing, and used the entire animal in our restaurant. All of our chef friends started saying, ‘Hey, we want that, too!’ It was a natural extension to open Farm Field Table.”
While there are butchers aplenty in Metro Detroit, the brothers’ shop, which has a long, narrow retail area and a butchering area that’s off-limits to customers, is the only one that focuses exclusively on whole animals that have been raised on pasture — i.e., not in confined, crowded areas like their conventional counterparts. Aside from offering standard and custom cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb, they dry-age their own beef and cure and smoke their own bacon. “We come from a family of hunters who were always butchering things,” says Matt. “That’s abnormal for the vast majority of Americans, but it was normal for us.”
Meet Matt Romine and the Farm Field Table Team at the Northville Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, August 13, 2021.