For the kitchen, the first step in planning the menu for Tomato Dinners is knowing what they have to work with. Yesterday, Chef Canales and his sous chefs sat down for three hours and tasted fifty-five different tomatoes from seven different farms. Each tomato was assessed using the following criteria: color, acid, sugar, gel, other flavors, texture, structure, and then given an overall rating.

A primary task was picking the 6 – 12 tomatoes to comprise the best-of-season tasting plate. While each tomato on the tasting plate has to be a knockout in its own right, the dish overall requires diversity, balanced color, and variety of exceptional characteristics.

A few of the standouts from yesterday’s tasting were Momotaros from Brookside Farm, Big Girls from Lucero Organic Farm, German Reds from Riverdog Farm, and Yellow Brandywines from Catalan Farms.