5280 Magazine: The Fruition Farms Dairy & Creamery Nears Completion
Fruition Restaurant chef Alex Seidel is breaking the farm-to-table mold again. Already known for curing his own charcuterie and partnering with Verde Farms in Larkspur to produce everything from farm-fresh eggs to produce (for Fruition and other local restaurants), Seidel is poised to start production on his own 100 percent natural, antibiotic- and hormone-free, full sheep’s-milk cheese.
Seidel and his partners—all former chefs—include Val Landrum and Jimmy Warren, along with Verde Farms owner Josh Halder.
Together, they are putting the finishing touches on the adjoining Fruition Farms Dairy & Creamery that will soon house 45 East Friesian sheep, a dairy breed that produces an ultra-rich, buttery milk with twice the fat of cow’s milk. “We’re only three to four weeks away from getting in our first ewes from the Irish Cream Sheep Dairy in Bushnell, Nebraska,” says Warren, the farm’s head shepherd. “Then we can be in full production just a day or two after that.”
Landrum, who is head of cheese-making, explains that he has already begun using milk from the Nebraska dairy to test his new cheese recipes:”We’ll start with a full sheep’s-milk ricotta because it’s so universal and so wonderfully fresh, it can be used in appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Then we’ll introduce a smooth, buttery, densely textured Percorino Toscano that’s aged about three months, and then perhaps to a grating cheese that’s aged even longer.”
The ultimate goal, says Warren, is this: “We want this to be Colorado and Denver’s cheese—something we can all be proud of.”
Fruition Restaurant, 1313 E. Sixth Ave, 303-831-1962
Verde Farms, 14347 E. Cherry Creek Rd., Larkspur