4th and Swift, named after the historic 4th ward in which it is housed and its owner Jay Swift, has been serving Southern inspired dishes to Atlanta diners for eight years. Chef Jay Swift has been involved in the restaurant industry since the ripe young age of 14 years, and although not a Southerner by birth he has made the south his home and was responsible for revitalizing the southern menu and the restaurant of South City Kitchen where he launched his Atlanta career. Now with his own ship to sail he is committed to local food, and whenever possible seasonally from his own kitchen garden just a few blocks away. With a menu that is regularly changing it’s hard to pin down all the livestock farms that Chef Jay uses for his meat source…however, we will highlight the farms that were part of the menu the evening we had dinner there earlier in the summer.
Loving the steamy heat of the south we had dinner on the patio which is simple and shady; the interior of the restaurant is quite lovely – it is sophisticated yet still retains the older industrial feel of the neighbourhood - exposed utility piping, timber supports and concrete.
The dinner choice for Kate was a done deal – White Oak Pastures lamb and ricotta meatballs, which were fabulous - tasty, moist and flavourful, and for me chef compiled a tasty medley of local vegetables – hopefully including some from the kitchen garden.
We just wished there had been more to choose from in terms of humanely produced meat – the lamb meatballs were the only choice for an ethical omnivore, although the server did inform us that White Oak Pastures chicken had been featured on the menu a week or so previously; but overall our experience was good and we would definitely dine there again
the farms and suppliers
THOSE MEETING THE F2B HUMANE PROTOCOL -
White Oak Pastures (lamb)
BLOG: The Vegan and The Stockman
BLOG: The Stockman: Redux
THE OTHER FARMS & SUPPLIERS -
Snake River Farms, TX (beef)
Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork, NC (pork)
Maple Leaf Farms (duck)
Although the pigs at Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork do not meet the F2B Humane Protocol, the folks at the farm were happy to talk with us on the phone, and were very transparent about how they raise their hogs and why they choose this method. They used to raise their pigs on pasture but for disease control and to satisfy their Japanese market moved them into barns a few years ago – the pigs apparently have ample room on straw. We will try and visit the farm when next in NC to see what the 'Heritage Farms animal welfare protocol looks like and draw our own conclusions. Pigs are such inquisitive and intelligent creatures confinement would seem hard on them, but barns and straw have to be better than concrete and bars.
Snake River Farms appears to be a brand for beef, one of the specialities being Kobe and wagyu beef. There is only one farm itemized on the Snake River Farms website - Double R Farms, WA. a 50,000 acre ranch which has an integrated beef system - birth to processing. One would hope that on 50,000 acres the cattle are grass born, raised AND finished but that isn’t a guarantee – we have emailed the farm and will report back with the reply.
Kobe and Wagyu Beef
Wagyu literally means Japanese cow and includes several breeds of cattle that share the same characteristics within the animal and the meat, including Kobe beef cattle (which originally came from the Kobe region of Japan). Wagyu beef is about the breed and the taste and has no reflection on the raising methods and therefore can be feedlot finished quite as easily as conventional beef – albeit a wagyu feedlot. For those folks who anecdotally report that Kobe cattle get a massage - this may be true but from what I have researched this is less about humane pampering and more historically about preventing muscle cramping on small farms in Japan where the animals did not have sufficient room to use their muscles.
Maple Leaf Farms supplying duck meat – the birds are raised indoors “in quiet, spacious barns where they have room to roam about”. We have included a link for the raising protocol for the birds.
But indoors is indoors and prevents aquatic birds like ducks and geese from water bathing.