Why Seasonal Eating Is So Important, According To Chef's Table: Pizza's Sarah Minnick - Exclusive

Netflix's "Chef's Table: Pizza" follows six chefs as they share their stories about their careers and their personal takes on all things pizza. However, this show is about much more than just pizza, as chefs share personal struggles, insight into their families, and opinions on the food world. For Sarah Minnick, chef and restauranteur at Lovely's Fifty Fifty in Portland, Oregon, pizza is delicious, yes, but it's also a way to highlight farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients that reflect the bevy of fresh produce available in the Pacific Northwest year-round.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Sarah Minnick shares that her interest in seasonal eating began as she started to work with local farmers who had already adopted a commitment to seasonality. She says, "Once I started to hang out with them and listen to what they had to say and watch their ethos for farming, I started to think, 'I like this idea of eating so seasonally that you have rules to follow and you don't really bend them.' You make sure that you use brussels sprouts and you use kale and you put up a lot of storage crops to be used in the winter. Also, once I started to go to the farmer's market religiously — in the summer there are three days a week where I go, and I get a lot of farm deliveries to Lovely's, too — I started to watch the farm list and be like, 'They have brussels sprouts, kales, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes. All right, we're going to work with these.'"

She also says it definitely helps that the Pacific Northwest experiences mild winters and many farms are still growing and delivering crops even in January and February. Some grow crops that can freeze in the field and, when they thaw, are ready for harvest.

Notice the difference

Eating seasonally, Minnick tells Mashed, comes with a range of benefits. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it also results in better, fresher foods on your plate. She says, "I hope we can dig into this more environmentally friendly way of eating where you eat what's in season. You're not trucking stuff all the way around the world. You're not wanting things in the middle of winter that only grow in the summer. In January, you can get cherry tomatoes at the store, but they're not good. They're not worth eating ... It's time to get back on board with the things that actually are good in their seasons, and try to notice the differences and notice the value of that kind of eating."

Luckily, she also notes that it's easier than ever to eat seasonally, thanks to the growing prevalence of farmer's markets. She explains, "Almost any town that you visit, any major town, will have a farmer's market, especially in the summer. It's becoming more prevalent. People know and appreciate the quality that you can get from buying from a farmer and seeing exactly what you're getting."

See what unique seasonal ingredients Minnick adds to the pizzas at Lovely's Fifty Fifty in Episode 6 of "Chef's Table: Pizza," now available for streaming on Netflix.