(WMC TV) - PROJECT GREEN FORK RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH: Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen, 712 W. Brookhaven Cr., East Memphis, 901-347-3569, http://andrewmichaelitaliankitchen.com/AMIK/
The "first names" in East Memphis Italian cooking topped the Scorecard a second time -- this time for their dedication to local foods, local farms and creative approaches with renewable resources.
Project Green Fork (http://projectgreenfork.org) certified Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen for growing most of its vegetables and herbs in its backyard garden.
"We grow ten varieties of heirloom tomatoes," said Andy Ticer, the "Andrew" of Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen. "Our herbs: sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, tarragon. Blueberries. Peppers, too."
Their meats don't come off a wholesale truck, either. It's all Mid-South livestock.
Ticer said Newman Farm of Myrtle, MO, supplies the restaurant's pork and lamb, which he and Michael Hudman butcher themselves. Claybrook Farms outside of Covington, TN, supplies the beef. Whitton Farms of Tyronza, AR, and Delta Sol of Proctor, AR, contribute vegetables and specialty items.
Supporting their local producers and growing their own ingredients were inspired by Ticer's and Hudman's masters training in Italy.
"Just seeing how the people there harvest their own animals, grow all their own vegetables, we just kind of adopted that and brought it back here," Ticer said.
The Scorecard first profiled Ticer and Hudman as Chefs of the Week in January 2011 (for that Scorecard, please click here: http://www.wmctv.com/story/13838469/andys-rest-scorecard-andrewmichael-italian-kitchen).
Next month, they will open their second restaurant right across the street.
Hog & Hominy will showcase water glasses made from recycled wine bottles, butcher tables re-claimed from the historic 19th Century Club on Union Ave. and a brick oven built completely from the re-used bricks of the building's former chimney.
Recycled. Re-claimed. Re-used.
More responsibly "green" practices -- and even more local flavor from Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen.