Soma Franks & Fiona Wong, Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen Soma Franks and Fiona Wong, owners of Sweet Water Harvest, are a perfect duo despite wildly different backgrounds. Soma worked in restaurant kitchens for thirteen years in Santa Fe, drawing primary inspiration from Katherine Kegel’s local and organic focus at Cafe Pasqual’s as well as her own experiences with different dietary philosophies. Wong moved to Santa Fe in 2006 from Singapore, after a career in fashion and television, with very little sense of where food comes from, but with a great sense of aesthetic. The combination of their worldviews has created a restaurant known for creative cuisine using local ingredients and catering to diverse dietary needs. For Franks, strict templates like veganism were two dimensional, and often too restrictive to do what a complete diet should do—make you feel like a vibrant human. She draws from a diverse ingredient palette for her menus including everything from sustainably raised meats to nut milks and gluten free grains. Franks’s commitment to real food has grown as she raises her child as far away from processed food as possible. For Wong, starting a vegetable garden in her Santa Fe yard with her infant son and watching the planting, watering, and harvesting roused her food curiosity. She realized that raising your own produce, while a labor of love, brings immense satisfaction and calm in a world where so many things called “food” come in shiny packaging that can sit on a shelf for years. When Wong met Franks, they realized their combined vision and love for food as more than sustenance could make a delightful restaurant. They serve delicacies designed for the dietarily restricted like buckwheat banana pancakes and Pad Thai made with optional almonds instead of peanuts. These two women believe that food should make us feel good at all times—while eating, after eating, the next day, and even the next month. The combination of creative flavors and careful ingredient choices mean Sweetwater’s food ranks high for its feel-good factor. Spreading love and curiosity about food is a side effect of Sweetwater’s other role as a CSA pick-up location for Beneficial Farms. Members fetch their boxes while diners gaze at the hubbub, many of them to ask, “What’s a CSA?” This kind of under-the-radar food system education is pure genius.
Above: Soma Franks and Fiona Wong Photo by Melanie West Left: Erin Wade Photo by Tamara Zibners
And finally, when you dine at Sweetwater, pay cash—it will translate into a two percent donation to the currently selected local non-profit, like the Carbon Economy Series or other sustainability organizations. Thank you, Sweetwater, for reminding us that the little details do make a difference. 1512 Pacheco Street, Pacheco Park, Santa Fe, 505-795-7383 www.sweetwatersf.com WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
Published on Feb 26, 2014
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