24-Carrot Gold

In keeping with Chef Jonathan Chovancek’s steadfast kitchen credo of using the freshest local, seasonal ingredients for his eclectic menu offerings, we’re shining our 'Supplier Spotlight' this month on UBC Farms’ golden carrots. Chef Jonathan says they're "like no other carrot you’ve ever had in your life.” 

UBC Farms — a 24-hectare test farm that encompasses cultivated annual crop fields, perennial hedgerows and orchards, teaching gardens and forest stands and produces more than 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs — is a pilot project of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the Point Grey campus.

Chef Jonathan Chovancek has been using UBC Farms’ wide array of wholesale produce in a number of Café Medina menu favourites, and their golden carrots are no exception. An indispensible ingredient in Chovancek’s spicy winter soups and roasted vegetables and as a go-to garnish, Golden Carrots differ from regular carrots in a very key way.

“What they do is leave the carrots in the ground so the frost gets at them and when that happens, it intensifies and concentrates the sugars in the carrot and you have the best-tasting carrots in the world, simply put,” says Chovancek. 

While UBC Farms is now mostly closed for the winter season, Chovancek is looking forward to the spring, when he plans on having the facility grow some custom crops for his kitchen — or, he says, simply seeing what’s sprouting that’s interesting and different and creating dishes around those products.