Tuesday Apr 12 2011
Auburn locavore magnet No. 1 with Placer's ag community
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Auburn restaurateurs Pat and Pete Enochs are 2011 Friends of Agriculture
Time and timelessness. It’s a melding of the here and now with the forever after that Latitudes’ Pat and Pete Enochs have strived for at the fine, white Victorian in Auburn where they work their culinary alchemy. Both children of farm families, the couple rooted their business in the soil of Placer County – bringing in fresh local offerings and growing their own crops in a half-acre garden – to satisfy the most demanding locavores. And while they’ve been bringing together the toothsome bounty of Placer County, putting locally grown fruits and vegetables on Latitudes plates and the best of local vintners in Latitudes goblets, their efforts have not gone unnoticed by the farm crowd. This year, PlacerGrown is recognizing the Enochses and their Old Town Auburn restaurant Latitudes with its Friend of Agriculture award. It’s an honor that they’ll receive Friday at the State of the Community awards ceremony. The Saturday morning after the award night will invariably find Pat at the Auburn Farmers Market. “The markets are the best local events, bringing the community together with so much positive energy,” Pat said. On Mondays, they’re out in their own organic garden, taking time, as Pete says, to appreciate time. “It’s calm and it’s alive – and all organic,” Pete said. “It’s gentle and it’s physical and it has a future.” The couple met as high school students growing up in the Coachella Valley and their lives have centered on their Auburn restaurant since it opened in 1978 as The Kitchen. A move in 1992 from Dry Creek Road to the majestic White House in the shade of the Placer County Courthouse also meant a name change, to Latitudes Restaurant & Gallery. As the slow food and buy local movements began to take hold in recent years, the Enochses were already folding in whatever is in season onto their internationally themed menus. Over the seasons, they easily incorporate products from more than a dozen local farmers and ranchers. They’ve also provided tangible support to winemakers, playing host to an annual release party in June and featuring local wines throughout the year. “It’s been really fun to watch wines become more sophisticated,” Pete said. Fast Facts: Friends of Agriculture Pete and Pat Enochs Family foodies: Daughter Alice and her husband Nathan launched their The Baker and Cake Maker business at local farmers markets last year Coachella romance: Pat and Pete’s second date was the Junior-Senior Prom as juniors White House haunt: The couple has heard the stories of ghost sightings in the small meeting room in the historic dining room. The 130 Maple St. house, built in 1880, has even been checked out by ghost hunters.