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Smoked carrot tartar

Featured Article

An 'Epek' Farm-to-Table Culinary Adventure

State & Lemp

Article by Shelly West

Photography by Jonni Armani

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

The rustic, unassuming charm that is the newly reopened farm-to-table restaurant Epek may seem a bit familiar.

Formerly known as State & Lemp, Executive Chef and Proprietor Christian Phernetton has changed the interior and name to reflect his farm-to-table concept and sensibilities, but don’t be fooled by the rustic vibe; the flavors coming out of Christian’s kitchen are "Epek."

The Epek approach is to lessen the impact of our food chain while retaining control of quality by not only sourcing food locally, but also by growing, harvesting and persevering food in ways such as fermentation in Christian’s own backyard, which is less than a mile from the restaurant and on a nearby farm.

“I am starting the plants in a germination chamber that holds up to 3,600 seeds at one time. Once ready, they are then moved to the caterpillar tunnels out back," Christian says. "As those plants mature, we will move them to finish growing on organic farmland in the Dry Creek area. This year I plan to grow 40 varieties of peppers, 35 of tomatoes and five types of tomatillos.” 

Not only does Christian source seeds from Snake River Seed Co-Op and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which has rare seed offerings, but he also grows produce from his own seeds such as sixth-generation beans which he has grown and harvested himself.

Christian also grows and serves in the restaurant micro-greens which are the shoots of salad vegetables and herbs picked just after the first leaves have developed. He is currently growing basil, anise, bronze fennel and purple micro basil to name just a few.

With more than 25 years in the industry, Christian draws on his experience to serve food that is not only delicious but also beautiful and creative, with each component on the plate serving a purpose.

The inventive tasting menu is nothing short of brilliant with offerings such as smoked carrot tartar served atop a layer of cumin yogurt, citrusy finger limes dubbed as citrus caviar, sumac squash chips sprinkled with micro-sized popcorn for a little crunch and topped with house-grown purple micro basil.

Another dish of note is pork belly served with pomegranate molasses, scallop agnolotti, drizzled with cauliflower puree, topped off with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and garnished with delicate pea tendrils.

Epek will be offering flavorful tasting menus as well as classes in the dining room this spring.

2870 W. State St., Boise, 208.429.6735

  • Cabbage with rutabaga, eggplant and chili sauce
  • Executive Chef and Proprietor Christian Phernetton
  • Micro-greens
  • Smoked carrot tartar
  • Pork belly with pomegranate molasses