It finally feels like summer and your kitchen is stocked with tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and other fruits and veggies from your garden. Now you just need to figure out how to make the most of those fresh ingredients.
Visit Chicago Botanic Garden every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 9 for the Garden Chef Series. Local and national chefs will demonstrate cooking techniques and share recipes using garden ingredients outside in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, which houses more than 400 edible plants that are perfect for the Chicago area. After the demonstration, buy any additional ingredients you’ll need here before you go and get to work in your own kitchen.
Here are just a few of the chefs we can’t wait to see at Chicago Botanic Garden this summer.
June 26: Marcos Ascencio of Guildhall
Guildhall, a beautiful restaurant in Glencoe, isn’t very far from Chicago Botanic Garden and the team there uses local ingredients for brunch, lunch and dinner with a European twist. Stop by the Garden on June 26 to learn from Guildhall’s Marcos Ascencio.
July 17: Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen and Social House
Nicole Pederson is all about keeping Found’s dishes simple and local, a philosophy she’ll discuss during her Garden Chef Series demonstration. Plus, in addition to the fruits and veggies you’ll find in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden’s Summer Farmers’ Market will be in full swing this weekend for post-demonstration shopping.
Aug. 27: Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse Tavern
Eric Mansavage believes it’s important to use local ingredients and work with farm-to-fork nonprofits at Farmhouse. He will share a perfect recipe for using your own garden-fresh ingredients, specifically tomatoes, during Heirloom Tomato Weekend (Aug. 27-28) at Chicago Botanic Garden.
Oct. 1: Brian Huston of Boltwood
Fresh garden dining doesn’t have to end with summer. Brian Huston will share a favorite recipe during his demonstration in October. Huston was a 2015 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes and is passionate about farm-to-table cooking.
Find a complete list of participating chefs here.
Photos courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.