Todd Woods Jr., like any elite chef, is focused on one goal: bringing his best to the table.
Luckily for his restaurant guests, a community of farmers, including Joe and Robin Hampton of Mt. Ulla, N.C., share that goal. The Hamptons don't work in a kitchen, but they do raise Angus cattle with the knowledge that the care they provide to their animals is an essential ingredient for providing restaurants with top-quality beef.
Passion. A dedication to doing the right thing. Setting high standards and meeting, or exceeding, them. They're all what drives the community behind the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, regardless of one's role.
When Woods, the executive chef of Oak Steakhouse's newest outpost in nearby Raleigh, N.C., visited the Hamptons, these similarities were suddenly clear.
"We care for these cattle every day of the year," Joe Hampton says. "Everything we do to interact with the cattle impacts that animal's ability to perform naturally. So when we interact with the cattle, we want to do it in such a way that the cattle are not stressed by us being in their space."
"They look pretty happy, that's for sure," Woods said, as he observed the herd during his visit. "It's good to see things from the other side of the mirror occasionally. I think it's important for our customers to have a connection to where their meat is coming from."