I’m always looking for new ways to cook with fresh vegetables and herbs from my garden, but it’s a whole other story when you get to see what a talented chef and restaurant owner does with them! This week I had the pleasure of hosting a local Garden-to-Table event in Vancouver. And even better, I harvested herbs and vegetables from my small urban garden for Chef Andrea Carlson from Burdock and Co. to create a beautiful menu for Food and Lifestyle Influencers and Writers from around the city.
It was amazing!
I was thrilled to meet some old friends and make some new ones, and showcase a few select varieties from Burpee Home Gardens, who sponsored the event. I was first introduced to the plants (and people) from Burpee Home Gardens a few years ago at the California Spring Trials, otherwise known as Fashion Week for Plants! A huge thank you also goes out to photographer Luis Alberto Valdizon who captured the photos from the event.
This year, I got to try out some more of Burpee Home Garden’s vegetables and herbs. I grew, harvested, and cooked with Dragon Roll Shishito Peppers this year and was thrilled with how much they produced. I made a three-course meal with the Shishito peppers because they are so incredibly productive!
I also spiced up my summer wine tastings with a Wine Box Herb Garden. This small space planter has been producing a ton of herbs all season. I harvested the parsley, sage, and oregano from there for the dinner.
I garden in East Vancouver on a standard-size urban lot with limited sun, so all of my vegetables and herbs are squeezed into creative containers and raised beds. My raised beds are three levels high to maximize the number of veggies I can grow in my only sunny spot. Here I am in front of my garden beds with my harvest all ready to go to Burdock and Co.
I grew Dragon Roll Shishito Peppers, Green Leaf Stevia, and Bright Lights Swiss Chard in my vegetable garden raised beds, all in just a mere 12 square feet. With just a 6-pack of chard and a few stevia plants, I grew plenty for the event and more stevia and chard than I will ever be able to eat!
I also harvested some of the rosemary to make a Fresh Herb Finishing Salt to give away to all of the guests. I put them in tiny little jars with a teeny wooden pinch scoop and a handwritten tag. I’ve been enjoying the aroma of the salt permeating my home for a week. I’ll post the recipe for that later this month. Until then, you can see a version of an older recipe here.
Now, on to the event!
After a brief introduction by Tim Duffin from Burpee Home Gardens and Yours Truly, we got to see a mixology demo!
My sage was used to spice up a “Late Summer Smash” made with bourbon, peach honey, lemon, and soda.
Our cocktails were enjoyed with a selection of canapes:
- Potato Cream, Smoked Shayu & Chanterelles, and Crispy Burpee’s Sage
- Confit Duck Croquette
- Polenta with Castlevetrano Olive & Burpee’s Parsley Tapenade
Dinner was just delightful and full of my garden harvest!
- House Made Sourdough Bread with Cultured Butter
- Burpee’s Dragon Roll Shishito Peppers with Garlic Almond Oil
- Radicchio & Nectarine Salad, Garlic Yogurt, Grapefruit Vinaigrette, Burpee’s Parsley
- Cauliflower & Burpee’s Parsley Couscous, Smoked Cayenne Harissa
- Elk Bavette, Burpee’s Oregano Gremolata, Burpee’s Bright Lights Rainbow Chard, Pecorino
And for dessert…
Heirloom Melon with Burpee’s Sweet Leaf Stevia & Sansho Broth, Coconut Ice
After that, we thanked the guests and sent them home with a gift bag full of handmade goodies, recipe cards from me and the chef, a few colorful gardening supplies, and a promise to send them plants to try next year in their home gardens.
Here is a list of who to keep an eye on for event photos and (hopefully) some garden-to-table recipes of their own next year:
- Dominique Hanke and Helen Siwak from BLUSH
- Rhonda May from CityFood
- Adrian Harris and Jeremy Inglett from Food Gays
- Jennifer Pallian from Foodess
- Areta Wong from Foodgressing
- Catherine Dunwoody, Food Writer
- Gail Johnson, Food Writer
- Cassandra Anderton from Good Life Vancouver
- Crystal Allen from Hello Creative Family
- Melissa Baker from Huffington Post Canada
- Taslim Jaffir from Let Me Out Creative
- Judy Yeh from Ming Pao
- Vanessa Choot from Modern Mix Vancouver
- Valerie van der Gracht from My Van City
- Whitney Millar from NUVO
- Tracey Ayton, Photographer
- Raj Thandhi, Pink Chai Living
Thank you to my new foodie friends, to the wonderful people at Burdock and Co. and my fellow gardeners at Burpee Home Gardens. I hope we get the chance to dine together again soon!