Indy’s restaurant community suffered a tragic loss over the weekend. On Saturday, Ross Faris, owner of vegetable-stand-to-the-chefs Your Neighbor’s Garden, died from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident. IM had featured Faris many times in its pages, including this excerpt from the June 2008 feature on local farmers, Farm Hands:
Fifteen years after retiring from Eli Lilly Credit Union, Ross Faris is a natural fit for farmers markets—on both the agricultural and business fronts. In the late ’80s, he helped restaurateur Peter George—owner of Peter’s Restaurant and a driving force in Indy’s fine-dining scene at the time—organize Indy’s first farmers market in decades. The market, on the sidewalk in front of George’s north-side restaurant, helped spur the markets in Broad Ripple and downtown. These days, Faris uses his talents to expand his own family business, peddling his homegrown vegetables at five area farmers markets and providing a long list of local restaurants with produce from various local growers. His roster of clients includes some of the city’s best places to eat—places that know a superior tomato when they see one. Elements, L’Explorateur, Harry & Izzy’s, St. Elmo, Goose the Market, and H2O Sushi all use his produce in their dishes. Chef Regina Mehallick of R Bistro looks for asparagus from Your Neighbor’s Garden as the first sign of the growing season. “It heralds spring,” she says of the spears she serves with pancetta, local free-range egg salad, and rhubarb dressing.