(Herb) Garden to Table
For a hardcore locavore chef, working at BBG’s Terrace Cafe is something close to a dream. “I got mustard greens, dragon carrots, rhubard, purslane, spring onions, and sorrel this week,” says Ariel Nadelberg, the Cafe’s new chef. Each of the ingredients she gets from the Herb Garden—in agreement with Herb Garden curator Caleb Leech—gets incorporated into one of six or seven daily specials featured in the menu, like pastas, soups, grains, and the cheese plate. This week, for example, mustard greens showed up in the special quiche and pasta salad; rhubarb made it into the kale salad, and the herbs made it into...just about everything.
Overall, the new menu emphasizes vegetables and whole grains, while showcasing meat in smaller quantities, akin to Mark Bittman’s “flexitarian” guidelines. (The hotdog and hamburger are still, of course, firmly on the menu!). When she’s not sourcing food from the Herb Garden, Ariel buys all greens from local farms, like Satur Farms on the Northfork of Long Island. And in keeping with the Garden’s summer theme Native New Yorkers, the Cafe’s drink program showcases Gorilla Coffee, Kombucha Brooklyn, as well as sweets by Ladybird in Park Slope.
Here are some shots of Ariel harvesting in the Herb Garden, and then some of her results.