Behind his vibrant eyes you could almost see the wondrous dishes he was imagining as he walked through our fields and greenhouses taking in every color, aroma and flavor that surrounded him.
One of the things he said to us on that day that we will never forget is that while chefs have explored every single part of a fish, chicken, cow, pig or sheep in their recipe preparations, this same curiosity and experimentation often does not apply to vegetables. There is so much truth in this statement and it left an indelible mark upon us. It influences how we consider each part of our vegetables throughout every stage of their growing cycles.
This kind of contemplation slows you down on a walk through the greenhouse. It inspires closer investigation and inspires us to use our imaginations when we bend down to study a vegetable no matter what growing stage it’s in.
This truth could not be more evident than in The Chef's Garden Citrus Lace, an ornately shaped ingredient with a bright citrusy zest and flavor notes of tangerine. It’s a member of the marigold family and when we think about the marigold we tend to imagine a bright orange flower with a strong aroma that keeps the rabbits out of our gardens.
But low and behold, when we revisited the citrus lace and pondered it through Chef Adria’s advice to contemplate every part and stage of the plant, there was something wondrous there to behold. Our citrus lace, which is high in fiber and vitamin C, is appreciated by our chefs for its silky texture, vibrant flavor and delicate, lacy appearance.
It’s such a beauty on the plate and whenever we see it in our greenhouses now, we think of Chef Adria and the lesson he taught us so many years ago when we walked alongside him through our farm with eyes wide open, our imaginations on fire.
Watch Plating: Apiary Featuring Citrus Lace | Chef Jamie Simpson Executive Liason at The Culinary Vegetabel Institute