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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

January 22, 2012 |  7:00 am

Roasted acorn squash and apple salad

This week, Food writer Jenn Garbee explores chefs who bridge the gap with their suppliers by spending some quality time on the farm:

It's ironic, in a rosemary-infused sort of way, that in today's farm-to-table restaurant era few chef-and-farmer relationships have evolved into the true collaborations those farm-specific menus often suggest. Their lives tend to exist in parallel worlds, firmly rooted together but never quite merging.

Like many farmers, Bill and Barbara Spencer of Windrose Farm have long focused their energy on the growing needs of their produce, such as Ashmead's Kernel and Hudson Golden Gem apples, on their 70-acre farm just outside Paso Robles. Their chef customers, including David Sundeen Jr., 36, and his wife, Susan Dumeyer, 40, have made all of the apple-inspired culinary decisions.

But what if, for an entire year, those chefs were farmers?

This week's recipes include:

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Photo: Roasted acorn squash and apple salad. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times