You can hear what else Chef Ed had to say about the farm and his experiences at The Chef’s Garden in our nostalgic look back in time:
During this visit to The Chef’s Garden (definitely not his first one!), he participated in an Earth to Table event at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, a concept he wholeheartedly embraces.
Exactly what the concept of earth to table, or farm to table, means varies by the person using that expression; still other people like to use the term “farm to fork.” In general, though, farm to table includes the following expectations about the produce used:
chefs know where their food comes from in a way that’s pretty specific, rather than just, for example, “from the United States”
they know how the produce is grown (sustainably, for example, without pesticides)
the middleman is cut out, and the restaurant gets the food directly from the farm
the farm grows the food in line with a restaurant’s values
This movement also focuses on boosting the health of a community (and, to do that, you definitely don’t need to sacrifice flavor!).
Earth to Table® Event
At the Culinary Vegetable Institute event, Chef Ed created a menu of modern American dishes that featured spring flavors, using French and Japanese techniques. And, here was his superb menu.
Toy Box Tomato Salad, Tomato H2O, Rainbow Basil Mix
Outrageous & Red Rose Romaine Caesar Salad, Crispy Oyster Croutons
Fresh Herb Pasta, English Peas, Fiddlehead Ferns and Tom Thumb Lettuce
Jumbo Green Asparagus and Braised Morels with Soft Boiled Hen Eggs, Ruby Crystal Lettuce
Braised Brown Eye Peas with Smoked Pork Belly, Bowtie Arugula
Slow Roasted Organic Lemon Chicken
Chef’s Garden Earth to Table Vegetables
Roasted Dragon & Cobalt Carrots and Artichokes Barigoule
Potato Salad, Tomato Confit, Chive Blossom, Onion, and Parmesan
Roasted Cauliflower, Capers, Shallots and Herbs, Pearl-stemmed Gold & Green Spinach
Chocolate Banana-Cream Cake, Anise Hyssop
More About Chef Brown’s Visit
He appreciated the chance to bring his 11-year-old son, Harry, to The Chef’s Garden, to let him experience the farm, noting that he’d brought Harry’s older brother on an earlier visit. Ed also compared his style as a chef with the Jones family’s approach on the farm.
How? Well, when you start with the perfect seed, Ed explains, and it’s cared for properly, then you end up with the perfect vegetable—one you don’t need to do much with, at all. Anything that’s just come out of the ground or off the vine, Ed says, he loves.
What He Finds “Extremely Impressive”
During this farm visit, Ed explained how he loves that Bob Jones, Sr. and the rest of the crew have preserved what’s important on the farm, without allowing that to inhibit expansion and growth. We appreciate the compliment, as well as when he says that the team uses technology and resources at hand in an incredible way.
More Kudos to Bob Jones, Sr.
Ed notes that, in his opinion, if Bob, Sr. patented half of the things he’s invented and done on the farm, everyone would be richer. “That’s what he does,” Ed adds. “He comes up with these ingenious things” and keeps all turning and growing, with nothing that could be improved upon remaining exactly the same.
The sustainable farming approach is also “amazing,” Ed says, as the team uses nature’s own power to grow crops (including the farm-fresh tomatoes that he loves so much!).
Plus, anytime he visits the farm, Ed says it feels like coming home because of the way that the Jones family greets you when you arrive.
Receiving Chef’s Garden Shipments
Any time that a product shipment has arrived in New York for Ed, he has always appreciated how he could automatically picture who cared for those crops and how they were cultivated with lots of love. People need to know what’s going on at The Chef’s Garden, he adds, because America isn’t aware of how what’s happening at this farm is what’s supposed to happen, that farming can be done without the use of chemicals.
It’s okay, he says, to slow grow. The process doesn’t need to be rushed.
More About Farm-Fresh Tomatoes
The day before this video was created, Ed was treated to a box of fresh tomatoes that had literally just been picked. When he ate them, the tomatoes were still warm, warm from the rays of the sun. If you listen to how he describes this moment in the video, it’s clear how much he enjoyed that experience.
Ed notes, too, how he appreciates the commitment from the farm family, saying, “good honest people, doing very hard work, producing tremendous ingredients makes you want to be part of it.”
It’s really important, he concludes, to see the entire process of the growth of a tomato, from when it’s planted to when it’s harvested, a process that allows you to gain even more respect for the tomato. In fact, he believes that, if you could have this experience at the farm, you’d never cut that tomato in half and throw the other half away. You’d never do that again.
Part of Roots Culinary Conference
The 2010 farm visit was certainly not the last time Ed Brown graced us with a visit. In 2018, for example, he was part of the chef team for Roots, where the theme was Cultivate. And, in just this short video, you can see the deep appreciation Ed has for the cultivation of quality produce—and his comments quickly make it obvious why we consider him a kindred soul.
A Note About Fresh Tomatoes
If you share Ed’s love of just-off-the-vine tomatoes, note that they start to trickle in during May and, by June and July, we are in full production with our larger toy box tomatoes and more. You can find more information about the incredible diversity of our fresh tomatoes, a diversity that allows diners to enjoy different flavors, textures and hues every single day during the tomato season.
Here’s a quick way to see what’s currently available and, to get more information and recommendations, please contact us online. Our product specialists can share up-to-the-moment insights into what’s the best of the day and what’s coming soon.