Farmer Lee Jones and the entire farm team at The Chef’s Garden have a deep and abiding passion for growing farm-fresh vegetables: delicious and nutritious with long-shelf life for our cherished chefs. When it comes to how to use the petite root vegetables, though, he leaves that up to our immensely talented and incredible creative chefs.
Here are how three of them are using our petite root vegetables.
First, picture the scene. Chef Malcolm and his team at Le Basque needed to cater a big wedding—and the bride and groom wanted to offer their guests something they’d never eaten before. So, Le Basque blanched root vegetables from The Chef’s Garden and wrapped the roots with chives and kept the greens attached. All was dipped in beurre monté for a beautiful shine—and then served with pan seared truffles in hollandaise sauce with sauteed mushrooms.
“Guests were blown away,” Malcolm says, “and we ended up adding this dish to our menu.”
Malcolm loves to cut petite root vegetables down the middle and then use them in canapés for added flavor and visual beauty. Or, he might peel petite carrots and add them to mini plates. “I love petite radishes,” he says. “I shave them paper thin into nice circles and use them in tomato salads. They add just the right amount of flavor and crunch.”
At Bourbon Steak Nashville, the chef team obtains deliciously fresh trout from a local farm and then pairs up the fish with farm-fresh vegetables from The Chef’s Garden. “We pickle the root vegetables,” Chef Dmitriy explains, “and then, in a two-step process, use the tops as microgreens. For example, we could split and sear a turnip in a cast iron pan and then use the top to create pesto.”
Once the prep process is completed with the vegetables, the colorful vegetables are gently placed in the middle of the fish. “This adds so much,” Dmitriy says, “to both the flavor and appearance.” This dish is on their menu for four months each year and, as the seasons change, so do the vegetables. The restaurant buys the best of the day root vegetables, which allows them to serve their diners with veggies at the peak of freshness and flavor.
At the Montage River House Restaurant, guests partook in a special experience. Chef Matt and his team created custom hawker boxes—similar to ones used in sports arenas—and added edible soil. Inside the “soil” were delicious petite root vegetables from The Chef’s Garden: carrots, turnips and more. Servers hung the boxes around their necks and personally served guests the vegetables using tweezers and provided them with flavorful sauces.
“Imagine appetizers with dressings,” Matt says, “and you’ve got the right idea. We’d like to make this a viable menu item going forward.”
Matt and his team also dip cherry bomb and breakfast radishes in butter and salt for guests to enjoy. At Montage Octagon, they shave radish over avocado toast. The Montage team will also serve vegetables from The Chef’s Garden, tableside, similar to what might be done with tableside truffles. “In our vegan tasting menu,” he adds, “we’ll serve the breakfast radish.”
“Fresh root vegetables,” Farmer Lee says, “have a special place in every chef’s kitchen—and the petite varieties are the sexiest sizes. Our regeneratively grown vegetables are naturally sweet to please the palate in bright colors to catch the eye.”
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