Beauty and Good Food at the Botanical Garden
For the 2nd year, I was asked to be a presenter at the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Well-Seasoned Chef Series and sold out my segment prior to the event.
The Botanical Garden puts on an amazing series from May through October, featuring 18 of the area’s farm-to-table chefs. Each of us has one evening during which we prepare a four-part tasting menu with food freshly harvested from the site’s Edible Garden.
My evening was May 15, a day that brought rain, but I didn’t mind. Good things happen to me in the rain, so I welcome weather that others may scorn.
My youngest daughter Quinn attended to lend her hand as my sous chef for the evening. And, friend and Quivira Vineyards proprietress Terri Kight joined me for this fun event, sharing her winery’s delicious sauvignon blanc and pinot noir and helping us as needed.
The Edible Garden provided beautiful radishes, which guests enjoyed rolled in creamy butter and sea salt. It was deliciously crunchy, salty, and peppery. We then prepared sorrel soup (see my post from June 14 for the recipe). Sorrel is a wonderfully spring-like herb, with a lemony flavor, that I used to prepare a refreshing soup. To enhance the citrus flavor, I garnished the soup with Meyer lemon olive oil.
I had fun with my shrimp and grits recipe for the evening, improvising with what was available and tempting – fresh spring onions (because most everything savory is better with onions) and Quivira sauvignon blanc. The evening’s patrons seemed more than satisfied with the additions to this signature low country dish and saved room for fresh strawberries with mint over slices of homemade pound cake and topped with sweetened whipped cream. Continuing with the theme of improvisation for the evening, I thought the prosecco on hand in the Garden’s outdoor kitchen would be a lovely addition to the strawberries, and it was!
The colors and flavors of the dishes that night were evocative of the transition from the bright greens of spring into the sultry nights of summer.
There are still tickets available for other Well-Seasoned Chef Series evenings. Visit the Botanical Garden’s website for more information. You’ll be glad you did.