Road Trippin': Fresh eats in Grinnell

Chef Paul Durr cooks for the lunch rush. Photo: CJ Garland, CBS2/FOX28.

Finding fresh food while traveling can be a bit of a challenge.

If you’re on I-80 near Grinnell you have some tasty options with a focus on local ingredients.

Finding enough fresh food to feed a restaurant is not always easy but chef Kamal Hammouda is up to the challenge.

“It's not a hindrance it just makes you a little more creative,” Says Hammouda.

He runs Relish with his wife out of a historic home a few blocks from Grinnell’s downtown.

“I live upstairs so I can literally roll out of bed into my workstation,” he adds.

Hammouda likes the ingredients he cooks with to travel as little as he does.

“When it's local the farmer, the vendor promotes me just as much as I promote their business,” he says.

He even refuses to use some produce entirely if he can’t get it locally grown or in season.

In his eyes cooking is not a job.

“I love to prepare it but I don't love to prepare it just for myself I love to prepare it for people to enjoy,” says Hammouda

Whether straight from the farm or the Grinnell farmers market freshness is in the flavor.

in the heart of downtown at the Prairie Canary, chef and owner, Paul Durr, sings a similar song when it comes to feeding fresh.

“It definitely makes better food and you know where your foods coming from, the people we source from, most of their items are organic so that something people are really looking for when they eat at my restaurant,” says Durr.

There are plenty of pallets from nearby Grinnell College and they’re also looking for flavors outside the norm.

“Diverse population, diverse taste buds, that definitely allows me to do a lot more different things with the menu,” says Durr.

His Vietnamese heritage lends some inspiration and a helping hand.

“One of the menu items is called Kim’s Vietnamese spring rolls, my mother actually makes those for me and they're one of our more popular items,” he says.

His kitchen also thrives on the traditional tastes prepared to perfection, he is well known for his list of burgers.

Customers, creativity and cuisine collide at the Prairie Canary.

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