For more than 35 years, the Chef’s Garden
in Huron has had one mission: to grow the very best specialty produce for chefs and restaurants around the globe. When all of those restaurants went offline in 2020, the Chef’s Garden scrambled to survive by selling product directly to home cooks, even going so far as to resurrect a farm stand that had been out of commission since the Reagan administration.
But now, says Farmer Lee Jones, things are beginning to look up. Not only is the restaurant business picking up, but a long-awaited cookbook from the farm hits bookstores next week. The Chef's Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables - with Recipes
will be available wherever books are sold on April 20, 2021.
“We’re thrilled with the book and we’re thrilled with how it turned out,” says Jones.
More than two years in the making, the gorgeous 640-page hardcover tome is more than a cookbook, it’s equal parts vegetable reference bible, family memoire, and recipe repository, with some farming and gardening know-how tossed in as well. The book features more than 500 entries of herbs, edible flowers, and both common and uncommon veggies. Chef’s Garden chef Jamie Simpson offers 100 impressive recipes in which to use that bounty.
“If you’re a farm market connoisseur, it is something you can refer to for some of those crazy things at the market that you haven’t worked with before,” adds Jones. “This may give you the freedom and courage to tackle some of those things. A gardener might pick up tips. There’s good stuff for chefs in there.”
Now, more than ever, says Jones, both chefs and home cooks alike are waking up to the notion that properly grown vegetables are the hottest and healthiest thing going.
“Like Ferran Adrià says, we’ve exhausted every species of fish, poultry, beef and pork that exists out there for the most part, but there are literally thousands of plants out there to be explored," Jones explains. “And plant-based and plant-forward is really our future. There’s a whole world out there and it’s very exciting. Just dive in, experiment, play and eat the rainbow.”