Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organic garden update...

New gardens coming along nicely. We set up a pretty ingenious irrigation system in and around the three rows with a little sprinkler set from Target and a spider style sprinkler tied to a stack of Pepsi racks to water the potatoes (we have tons of these damn things stacked all over. Apparently the Pepsi guy's too lazy to take them with him.) I foresee them hitting the dumpster before too long, lol.

This week, the rest of our plants will be arriving. Tomatoes, peppers, more herbs, etc. are going in the ground very soon. As you can see by the picture, a few of our babies are coming up pretty well. The grounds keepers put in a nice fence for me to keep the deer and other hungry critters away from our upcoming bounty.

Today, we were able to take advantage of some amazing cilantro and parsley strait from the plants. I topped our Veal Osso Bucco with a fresh Gremolata and garnished a nice Asian chicken dish with green, fluffy cilantro leaves! Nice stuff.

My sous chef and I get great pleasure out of weeding the garden. Very Zen Like, lol.

Stay tuned for more updates later on this season.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Upcoming plans for the season

Wow, heads are spinning around here with all the great and exciting things we have in store this Spring season;

The garden is 90% planted and starting to sprout, the rest is going in in about a week, we've built a compost bin for the food scraps to make compost for next years garden, I have my farmers and local producers lined up to buy from and just began working with a company to get our local seafood! All is working well and I'm looking forward to sharing this great food with our diners.

Easter brunch has come and gone, fed 300 + people on a skeleton crew and everything went over without a hitch. The end of the Easter holiday makes me excited to know that spring is officially here and the warmer months too. With this comes new and exciting plans.

Upon the discovery of a source for local goats milk and raw cows milk, I ordered cheese making supplies so we can make our own farm cheddar and chevre goats cheeses. I might even dabble in a couple other types of cheeses, who knows. Having never made cheese before (other than ricotta, which I wouldn't really count that as "making cheese" compared to the complexity of creating a cheddar or something), I'll just play with two types for now and see how it goes. If all works well, all sorts of possibilities could come to fruition.

Currently, I'm creating a huge smoker out of an old hot box that's not being used. I plan to roll out a smoked meats list to take advantage of the local pork and beef around here. In addition to meats like sausage and brisket, I think I'll mess around with smoking that cheese we plan to make and some of that great seafood coming off of the Carolina coasts. :)

Yeah, just when you thought I couldn't possibly fit anything else into this crazy schedule, I've been inspired by one of my favorite TV celebrities and am going to make our own tandoor so we can make our own Naan bread. Just imagine, local tandoori lamb kabobs served with fresh/ hot flat breads, yum!!

We have two interns starting this summer, so that should be fun. They get to work with us and, hopefully, learn something fun and exciting. At the end of the day, I hope they learn that opening cans and using all frozen stuff is just not the same as shaking the hands of a local farmers and making your own stuff from scratch with love and respect for the ingredients.

New spring menus are finally complete and will roll out next week. There's a little bit of everything on the upcoming menus. From appetizers, to salads, to steaks and fish, the new menus, both lunch and dinner, will take full advantage of our local products, house-made specialties and, of course, the garden. Wow, so exciting!

I'll keep you all updated so stay tuned!

So, lots going on, but its gonna be great!