Savor the Seasons at The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens


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Savor the Seasons at The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

July 3, 2024
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Savor the Seasons at The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Savor the Seasons at The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Tucked within the lush, sprawling grounds of Roger’s Gardens, a well-known nursery and home decor center in Corona del Mar, California, is the Farmhouse restaurant. The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens offers a unique dining experience that seamlessly blends refined culinary art with the natural beauty of its garden setting. Since its opening in 2016, this farm-to-table restaurant not only captivates guests with a menu rich in fresh, local ingredients but also reflects the vibrant spirit of California cuisine. We recently had a chance to visit the restaurant and speak with chef and owner Rich Mead about his farm-to-table philosophy that informs their menu.

exterior of the Farmhouse at Rogers gardens illuminated by lights

A Chef with a Vision

At the heart of the Farmhouse’s culinary success is renowned chef Rich Mead. With over 30 years of experience in the culinary world, Rich has dedicated his career to developing relationships with local farmers and purveyors. Every dish served at the Farmhouse showcases the freshness and quality of the ingredients. 

Chef at the farmhouse at rogers gardens

His philosophy centers on simple cooking techniques that enhance natural flavors. This allows the quality and taste of the produce to stand out. It’s evident that California’s diverse agriculture influences Rich’s passion. And his passion is evident in every meal he crafts at the Farmhouse.

Rich has long been a frequenter of farmers markets, and often brings along members of his team. “I got a bartender that went with me to the farmer’s market. And I’ve always tried to get somebody to go with me from down here. In the first few days we walked in and I introduced them, everybody pulled out something different than I ever would have. And it was so much fun! Everything I was buying, all of a sudden, it changed [based on] what you saw from the market,” says Rich.

Like his eclectic food menu, Rich’s cocktail program focuses on what is in season locally, and experimentation is desirable. “It doesn’t have to be all citrus, it can even be a savory thing like pumpkin or butternut squash.” In talking about working with his seasonally inspired team, he explains, “It’s so fun to work around everybody who’s into it.”

Rich’s enthusiasm for good, fresh food extends from the team in the kitchen and the bar to the front-of-the-house staff. “I think the servers buy into it and then they can go to a table and they’re excited about talking about what you’re doing,” says Rich.

a garden box full of fresh produce from the farmhouse at rogers gardens

From Garden to Plate at the Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

The connection between the Farmhouse to Roger’s Gardens is integral to the restaurant’s identity. Roger’s Gardens itself is a bougie destination home and garden store known for a wide variety of plants, fine garden art, and decor. The integration of the Farmhouse within this setting allows guests to dine on a gorgeous patio amidst a verdant landscape. It is a place where beauty and bounty go hand in hand. This partnership highlights the literal interpretation of farm-to-table, since much of the produce used in the restaurant is inspired by what is seasonally available and can be seen growing in the gardens.

“When we were building it, you could feel it. And this whole garden, if you walk around the nursery, you have a sense of calm. It’s just nice. People feel good when they walk in. And that’s what I wanted people to experience — is that they feel good,” says Rich.

The menu at the Farmhouse changes with the seasons. The menu reflects the availability of local ingredients and ensuring that the dishes are as fresh and flavorful as possible. From heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn to fresh herbs and citrus fruits, each ingredient is a careful choice to reflect the essence of California’s agricultural wealth.

As a small business owner himself, Rich understands how tight the margins are for farmers. He makes a concerted effort to help spread his business to as many small farmers as he can. He often creates menu items around a unique offering they have at the markets. “I appreciate what they do and you have a relationship with them and when they have something new to try they’ll always make sure they tell me,” Rich says.

California Agricultural Influence and Cuisine

The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens menu incorporates diverse flavors and ingredients. Dishes are very clearly inspired by the West Coast lifestyle. And Rich designs them to pair beautifully with California wines, local craft beers, and artisan cocktails. All of these touches enhance the dining experience with a bit of local spirit.

“What I’m doing is very personal,” explains Rich. “I wanted to connect with farmers and I wanted to use their produce. The quality of the product makes your food better. And it’s also the chance to work with people that are passionate just like I am,” he adds.

Signature dishes such as the herb-infused grilled chicken, “pizza of the day,” and farmers market salad showcase the simplicity and sophistication of California cuisine and the influence of California agriculture in it. Each plate is beautifully presented and bursting with colors and flavors. It’s a true reflection of the Golden State’s bounty.

Rich is proud of the work he does at Farmhouse and the sense of community that has blossomed as the restaurant’s reputation grew. “It’s fun because you’re creating these stories, and part of the stories are creating a sense of community, right? If people come and they feel like they’re part of your stories and they want to learn about the stories. Then they tell their friends and so it’s kind of fun,” says Rich with a smile.

Visit the Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens represents a pinnacle of farm-to-table dining in Southern California. With Chef Rich Mead’s expert touch and a location that breathes life from the surrounding flora, the restaurant promises not just a meal, but a dining experience that celebrates the natural abundance in the Golden State and the culinary creativity it inspires. Whether you’re a food lover, a garden enthusiast, or simply in search of a beautiful place to dine, the Farmhouse offers a taste of the best that California has to offer.

sign at the farmhouse at rogers gardens


2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd

Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

(949) 640-1415

California has many delightful nurseries to explore!

Article written by Alison Needham for California Grown. Images by James Collier.

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