Farmshop’s culinary director, Brian Reimer, spends much of his time driving up and down the California coast visiting farms like Rancho Llano Seco, a sixth-generation family farm in Butte County that raises pigs, cattle, heirloom beans and ancient grains, and collecting products for Farmshop’s two artisanal food emporiums in Santa Monica and Marin.
When we spoke with Reimer, he had just tasted a 24-year-old goat cheese from Point Reyes—“one of the best of his life”—and occasionally paused our conversation to instruct workers hauling crates of produce out of a truck. “This is a pretty typical week,” he says.
Reimer is exactly the kind of person who reassures you that California is at the very top of its food game—and very close to its soil. If you ask Reimer where to go for the best pork, he’ll direct you to Peads and Barnetts, a 25-acre, antibiotic-free ranch and butcher in Valley Center whose Facebook page features unfiltered shots of hogs and cacti; and for the best ducks he’ll send you to the fourth-generation duck farmer Jim Reichardt for his liberty ducks (coddled from birth in Sonoma County in an intentionally low-stress environment and brought to market at nine weeks instead of the standard six).
Reimer’s recommendations are abundant, nearly instant and exceptionally informed—qualities that describe the Farmshop enterprise on a whole. Founded in 2010 by California native Jeff Cerciello, Farmshop is an esoteric food lover’s haven, beloved by leading locals like Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon.
Cerciello started as an apprentice at The French Laundry in 1996 and later became Thomas Keller’s director of casual dining, coordinating the launches of Bouchon nationwide and Ad Hoc in Yountville, as well as co-authoring the acclaimed Bouchon cookbook in 2004.
Below is Farmshop’s recipe for the salted gluten-free chocolate chip cookies served at its bakery in Santa Monica. “These cookies are some of our best sellers here at the bakeshop,” says Farmshop pastry chef Anthony Nigro. “They have a crispy edge and chewy center,” and are made using a gluten-free flour blend of rice flours and potato starch from Thomas Keller’s pioneering Cup4Cup flour line led by chef Michael Wallace.
True to form, Farmshop uses California ingredients wherever possible. The chocolate in the cookies comes from Guittard in Burlingame, which, Nigro emphasizes, “is still family-owned and Californian.” Its butter comes from Challenge Dairy, another California brand, which Nigro is also proud to mention.
Gluten-Free Salted Chocolate Chip CookiesCourtesy of Brian Reimer of Farmshop, Los Angeles
Yields 24 cookies
513 grams unsalted butter
585 grams molasses sugar
225 grams organic sugar
13.5 grams salt
3.75 grams vanilla extract
225 grams eggs
787.5 grams Cup4Cup All-Purpose Flour
22.5 grams baking soda
627 grams chocolate chips
24 grams flaky sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
2. Cream the butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Scoop onto a prepared baking sheet using an ice cream scooper (approximately 120 grams each). Top each with 1 gram flaky sea salt, and bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
Pro tip: If you have a convection oven, the Farmshop team recommends you turn your oven to its high fan mode for best results.
Note: This recipe has been scaled down for home use.
Hero image by Brian Reimer.