High up on a remote mountaintop on the coast of central California, there lies a paradise of citrus with over three hundred different varieties of rare and exotic cultivars from all corners of the earth. The fruit there is not grown for commerce, but out of a strong interest, curiosity, and love by Gene Lester, a citrus-enthusiast.
This box of sunshine comes to me via Chef David Kinch, whose longstanding friendship with Mr. Lester and mutual interest, curiosity and love of exceptional product allows him access to the private collection of trees.
Chef Kinch's two-Michelin-star Manresa is among the handful of restaurants in this country* that offer a true farm-to-table experience. The diversity and quality of the produce that is grown for Manresa at Love Apple Farm is stunning, as shown in this video.
These are exceptional specimens—each one a jewel— and I am grateful to the spirit of generosity and sharing that brought them to me. In the same spirit, I'd like to share them with you— in the only way that I can— through pictures and words.
For further information and descriptions of these cultivars, I've compiled a downloadable catalog.
Download catalog: Citrus Cultivars
*the T&L article fails to recognize McCrady's in Charleston, where Chef/Farmer Sean Brock grows an amazing array of vegetables for his kitchen, among them heirloom varieties indigenous to the lowcountry, as well as raises pigs for an extensive charcuterie program.