Fresh produce takes a summer meal from routine to spectacular. The crunch of a perfect carrot, the snap of a crisp green bean, the beauty of an edible blossom are perfect complements to our menu of hand-selected prime steaks and fresh seafood.
We’ve tapped into a great resource for this: The Chef’s Garden. This is a farm in Ohio run by Farmer Lee Jones. The farm concentrates on the needs of chefs, and delivers top-quality fresh produce, including nearly impossible to find heirloom varieties, to the doors of all of our locations. For our chefs, opening up a box is like unwrapping a present from someone who really knows you well. You never know what will be in it, but you know it’s going to be great.
We asked our chefs this week to show us a few photos of their Chef’s Garden boxes, and tell us about their experiences using this wonderful service. Here’s what they had to share with us:
Matt Strabbing, Executive Chef, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, says he orders once a week from Chef’s Garden, and keeps the farm in mind for special events. “I have yet to have anything from there I didn’t like,” he says. “If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the tomatoes.”
Bryan Hopping, Executive Chef, Cincinnati, had lots to say about Chef’s Garden. “If you are looking for fresh produce, I have not found a better source then the Chef’s Garden. It is as close to buying direct from the farm as possible for a restaurant. Their products are always beautiful and of the highest quality. It is real food from real earth, and it shows. They harvest as close to shipping as possible and pack their food with such care that I get twice the shelf life out of their produce, not that it has the chance to sit around very long. I love getting their boxes of heirloom tomatoes. These are always picked at the height of ripeness. The Chef’s Garden makes sure to not chill the tomatoes at any point, even during shipping, which ensures the tomatoes retain all of their flavor. They are like candy.”
Geoff Kelty, Executive Chef, Columbus, says he loves the pineapple tomatillos. “The thing I like the best about the chef’s garden is the unparalleled level of freshness in they product that we receive. They were literally just picked from the ground and then sent to us.”
Anthony Lusiak, Executive Chef, Louisville, sent us the photo posted here, which is a large batch of carrots including heirloom varieties in a rainbow of colors (left). “I love that they do not pick the veggies until they are ready to be shipped!”
Paul Miranda, Executive Chef, Warrenville, says he loves the pineapple tomatillos as well. “The micro greens they send us are absolutely fantastic and they great thing about the produce we receive from them is the shelf life. Not only is the look and flavor great, the produce lasts forever….It is like Christmas every delivery! I get to open the “present” and share it with the entire staff. Speaking of the staff, my cooks and food runners love the micro greens.