Keith Corbin, chef/owner of Alta in West Adams, goes to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays to shop for strawberries for Alta's signature strawberry shortcake. "My Grandmother always had strawberry shortcake when strawberries were in season," Corbin says. "It's just familiar to me. I love taking things that I grew up eating and giving it to my customers."
Corbin is also experimenting with creating a homemade strawberry vodka for well drinks. "It's all about the sourcing. As long as I know where they're coming from, the strawberries are ripe and in season, and the farm that I'm working with treats their workers appropriate."
Corbin purchases strawberries for Alta from Murray Family Farms. They currently offer three varieties of strawberries. Albions tend to be firmer and good for baking. Chandlers are softer and sweeter. And green strawberries are a unique offering of unripened Albions. Jack Monderer of Murray Family Farms describes the flavor of green strawberries as similar to a Granny Smith apple and says that they are crunchier and more tart.