Cukes with blooms are one of Farmer Lee Jones’s favorite petite plants. Why? The flavor is clean, crisp, and refreshing, a real treat for the palate. Plus, this gorgeous little beauty pairs brilliantly with so much and looks stunning on the plate.
Farmer Lee actually hesitates to recommend how to use this wonderfully versatile veggie, saying that any ideas he provides would be ones “limited to my own pea brain imagination.” Instead, he says, “How can you use this buttery, nutty, crunchy vegetable?”
Well, today, we’re highlighting how one of our cherished chefs—Byron Gomez—uses cukes with blooms in his incredible sturgeon dish.
Spotlighting Chef Byron Gomes
Chef Byron first learned about The Chef’s Garden when working under the incomparable Chef Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud in New York City. At this One Star Michelin restaurant, Byron learned plenty about classical French fine dining.
Next up: the Two Star Michelin restaurant, Atera, where he honed his skills on a modern Nordic cuisine menu. “Atera had its own chef’s garden, so I got to see this process,” Chef Byron says, “and yet, we still ordered amazing products from The Chef’s Garden, too.”
When he headed to the Three Star Michelin restaurant, Eleven Madison Park—where he became sous chef—he loved to use our farm-fresh herbs, particularly naming nepitella mint and anise hyssop.
Finally, since The Chef’s Garden has been “part of my entire culinary career,” Chef Byron uses our regeneratively farmed products in his role as executive chef at 7908, a position he’s held since the spring of 2019.
Chef Byron: Sturgeon with Cukes with Blooms
“I became inspired to create this dish,” Chef Byron shares, “from two sources. First, from my time in New York, I remember the everything bagel with smoked salmon. That was so New York! In Colorado, I wanted to elevate this kind of dish using a different fish. So, I considered how highly diners place caviar on a pedestal—which caused me to choose the under-appreciated source of caviar: the sturgeon.”
This dish received further inspiration, he explains, from one created by Chef Gavin Kaysen. “I then experimented with techniques and plating ideas to make the dish my own.”
To add an element of surprise, he chose to use our cuke with bloom because he enjoys educating diners while giving them a familiar touchpoint. “They might expect,” Chef Byron says, “to see a great big cucumber while most people aren’t even aware of the delicate edible bloom. Using cuke with bloom allows me to educate them through a textural and visual experience.”
He also enjoys using vibrant violas in his dishes, especially ones in hues of purple, white, and yellow. “The viola medley is so beautifully produced.”
First, thank you Chef Byron for taking the time to share your insights into this amazing dish and providing gorgeous photos! The dish looks absolutely amazing.
Farmer Lee, by the way, believes that increasing numbers of people will appreciate the petite beauty of cukes with blooms—and of other petite-sized veggies—especially as diners are becoming more interested in learning where their ingredients come from.
To add soft melon flavors, a crunchy texture, and velvety blooms into dishes, you can find our lovely cukes with blooms here.