(Herb) Garden to Table

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    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Ariel Nadelberg harvests violas for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Ariel Nadelberg harvests violas for BBG's Terrace Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • The café team with fresh-harvested carrots and mustard greens to be used in the day's lunch specials. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.The café team with fresh-harvested carrots and mustard greens to be used in the day's lunch specials. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • A tasty kale salad is prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.A tasty kale salad is prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • A cheese plate garnished with carrots and edible flowers from the Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.A cheese plate garnished with carrots and edible flowers from the Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • A gorgeous grilled chicken salad, made with arugula and grapefruit, garnished with dragon carrots and edible flowers from BBG's own Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.A gorgeous grilled chicken salad, made with arugula and grapefruit, garnished with dragon carrots and edible flowers from BBG's own Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • The BBG Café prepared a kale salad with locally sourced ingredients and garnished with a viola from the BBG Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.The BBG Café prepared a kale salad with locally sourced ingredients and garnished with a viola from the BBG Herb Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.

    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.


    Comments

    July 2, 2011
    Barbara Kolber

    Lovely idea.
    At the Bronx Botanical Gardens, they supply water and cups for free..  You don’t have to buy it in a bottle. There is also a discount on food for members. The menu is much more extensive, but then I realize it’s a much bigger operation.


    August 16, 2011
    lizF

    What a lovely thing! Talk about farm to table. Bravo! The food was already delicious and now its even better. Amazing.



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