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Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

RENEW menu planning guide

Winter/Early Spring 2017

The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


ow! If ever there was an exciting time in the food industry, this is it!

Now more than ever, people are truly interested in consuming products and ingredients that are grown in full accord with nature. There is an understanding of the correlation between how a plant is grown and the resulting flavor and freshness of the plant. How we grow is becoming as important as what we grow! We are all starting to take interest and focus on reducing waste, protecting and preserving our fresh water and soil, and consuming more vegetables and plants. This issue of RENEW, our first menu planner of 2017, focuses not only on the delicious crops we are growing now, but also tells some of the stories behind those crops. Why we are growing them, and how we found them. I’d love to hear some of your stories – how are you using the products? What are your favorites?

Our family has been extremely fortunate to have been mentored and molded over the years by some of the best in the business. We are so thankful and remain very grateful for each of you for allowing us to be a small part of such a great industry that will move our nation and world to a healthier place. On behalf of my family and the entire Chef’s Garden team, thank you for allowing us to continue to follow our dreams of farming as a small sustainable farm committed to the greater good of the world. Folks, hang on! This is going to be a very exciting year. Lots of amazing things coming. Together, we can change the world one bite at a time.

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Kalettes in the snow | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Winter Favorites: Brussels Sprouts

Cuke with Bloom

slightly nutty with a kale-like flavor

mild flavor with a light melon taste and buttery bloom

Mini Sorbet Princess

Crystal Lettuce

a mix of our best of the day small flowers

succulent and dry textures with hints of salt

Micro Mixed Shiso

Nasturtium Leaves

strong flavors of spearmint, basil and cinnamon with a clove overtone

sharp, peppery flavor

Mixed Fall Radish

Micro Mint Sampler

slightly peppery with

peppermint and menthol flavor to herbal and aromatic

almond-sweet notes to peppery hot

2. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

The bold colors and strong flavors that our chefs love this season. Traditional winter tastes presented anew with exciting shapes and sizing.

Autumn Fire

Exotic Kale

mild flavors of the earth

sweet, nutty flavor


Root Ice Spinach


butter, rich minerals

sweet and nutty flavor

and a super sweetness

Petite Carrots

Petite Radish

very sweet and earthy with notes of pepperiness

mild and sweet to pungent and sharp

Red Ribbon Sorrel

Ultra Mesclun

tart, yet sweet flavor with a crisp texture

mix of assorted small, young salad green leaves

Petite | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


with Bloom A Cuke With Bloom Epiphany

4. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide


ur cuke with bloom changed how we thought about cucumber blossoms and it still takes all our might to not pluck the bloom from the tiny cuke it’s attached to. When a cucumber is allowed to produce a seed, it thinks it’s done its job and it blows up to mass proportions. When we were kids we had to diligently pluck off the blooms every day or the plant would shut down because it had passed through its full cycle of life. It was tedious work and if it was an extremely hot summer day, we had to do it twice a day. The leaves had prickles that would irritate the skin so we would wear long sleeves even in that fiery summer sun. But we kept at it even though there was no market for cucumbers because every farm field in the area was overflowing with them. We stayed with it, plucking day after day to keep our cucumbers growing, because we hoped for the tiny window at the market when the rest of the farmers had stopped plucking but there was still a desire for cucumbers. If you hit it just right, it meant an extra day or two of sales.

We harvest these beauties with their nutty, buttery flavor and refreshing crunch, with the bloom still attached to its tiny cucumber. The result is a bright, succulent flavor packed into the tiny cuke attached to a cheerful, velvety flower. It was chefs who first convinced us to stop plucking the blooms from our cucumbers. It was a “V8 moment” when we stopped viewing the bloom as a nuisance and instead began appreciating it for its beauty and flavor. Chefs love them as garnishes for salads, fish, chicken or vegetarian dishes. They immediately dress up a plate and their crunchy texture is as fun as it is flavorful. They are inspired by their beauty and create recipes like cucumber sorbet that is gracefully finished with a cuke with bloom. Chefs have moved from using them as a garnish and are celebrating their flavor and splendor. We’ve seen the blooms stuffed with stiff emulsions and mint gels – even a sweet pea tomato – and the delicate petals pulled together, tied off and served raw.

Our elegant cuke with bloom defy our memories of plucking blooms when we were kids. | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


Watercress has long been a stalwart with chefs. A delicious peppery heat has always been its calling card. We grow it differently than most and offer it in stages of growth from micro to ultra – with crunchy texture, vibrant green color and bold flavors better than you can find elsewhere. We’ve discovered other varieties as well. Mustard Cress produces a bright yellow bloom. Sea Cress has flavors of grass and the sea – with a leaf shape unlike any other cress.

Mustard Cress Blooms

6. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Petite Mustard Cress pungent spicy mustard flavor

Micro Mustard Cress pungent spicy mustard flavor

Micro Upland Cress pepper flavor of mustard greens

Micro Sea Cress mild flavor with notes of grass and salt

Micro Watercress mild spice with a buttery essence

Ultra Watercress mild spice with a buttery essence | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


Micro Anise Hyssop

Micro Arugula

strong anise flavor, smells like black licorice

peppery with a mild bitterness

Micro Burgundy Amaranth

Micro Chives

mild and nutty flavor

mild onion flavor and aroma

Micro Parsley

Micro Red Ribbon Sorrel

refreshing, cleansing and mildly bitter

tart, yet sweet flavor with a crisp texture

Micro Tarragon

Micro Tat-soi

hints of licorice, mint,

sweet yet nutty flavor with a mineral finish

pine, pepper and hay

8. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Microgreens add depth of flavor, along with enhanced aroma, texture and visual appeal.

Micro Basil

Micro Bulls Blood

bright, bold with mild notes of anise flavor

sweet, nutty flavor

Micro Cilantro

Micro Cutting Celery

warm, nutty and spicy

refreshing strong celery flavor

Micro Sage

Micro Sea Spears

peppery-lemon camphor-like flavor

succulent with a hint of saltiness

Micro Thyme

Micro Wasabi Mustard

strong, nutty and deep rich roasted flavor

spicy flavor with hints of sweetness | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

SMALLBites Basil Sampler

All About Basil:

It seems that we can never have enough varieties of Basil! From the mildest micro opal basil, with its deep purple heart shaped leaves to the bold licorice and strong basil flavor of full size Thai basil, we have all of your basil needs covered. Our five varieties of micro basil including Genovese green and Cinnamon and our fullsize varieties that include African Blue and Lemon basil can each be purchased separately or in blends.

10. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Spicy Bush Basil

Thai Basil Micro Thai Basil

Micro Basil Sampler

Micro Opal Basil

African Blue Basil

Micro Basil

Basil Sampler Demi | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

12. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Citrus Coriander Blooms


f there was ever an ingredient that represents what it means for a farmer to go rogue, it’s our coriander bloom. Traditionally as farmers, when we see that the ingredients in a field has gone to flower, it means we have failed because we didn’t harvest it on time. But because of our long term collaboration with chefs and our desire to listen to what they are looking for from us, we have started to see the virtues in blooms and the diversity and interest they can add to a dish. This coriander bloom is one that we love here on the farm as much as chefs applaud it in their kitchens. With the rise of Latin American cuisine in this country, this ingredient has become a universal favorite in every corner of the nation. We developed this bloom with a breeder who was producing a seed that grew into cilantro with a tangy citrus flavor to it. Its blooms are no exception, with a lemon-lime effervescence that lingers long after the last bite. It pairs well with nearly anything from sweet potatoes, white fish and scallops to poultry, carrots and tomatoes. The coriander bloom’s versatility is only outdone by its beauty on the plate. We suggest garnishing a dish with a bouquet containing six to eight flowers.

I love the idea of chefs serving the product in their restaurant because for me it represents the synergy we have developed with the chefs we have worked with over the years. As a farmer your thinking is sometimes onedimensional and blooms have traditionally meant failure. It was the chefs touring the farm over the years who dismissed our way of thinking and said no, look at these amazing blooms, they have tremendous virtue and we want to use them in our restaurants. The coriander bloom is beauty personified and it represents our growing appreciation for Latin American food. Everyone loves pairing a lime with a brightly flavored Mexican beer and the coriander bloom delivers that same kind of optimal relationship in a dish. The intensity of the bloom’s flavor and its concentration of volatile oils climb fearlessly from your tongue to your nose to your brain that will thank you time and time again for garnishing your plate with the sublime coriander bloom. | Call 800.289.4644



Violas: Blackberry Sorbet, Blackberry Swirl, Blueberry Cheesecake, Blueberry Cream, Blueberry Ice, Blackberry Sorbet, Lemon Meringue, Plum Ice, Plum Sorbet, Red Raspberry Sorbet and Red Raspberry Swirl

The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Nasturtium Blooms:

A Thomas Jefferson Darling and Peruvian Medicine All In One Fiery yellow, red and orange nasturtium blooms have been popular trellis climbers in European gardens ever since the gardeners of the French King Louis XIV started cultivating them in his flowerbeds. Thomas Jefferson followed suit by planting them in the famed gardens of Monticello in the late eighteenth century. In the meticulous planting logs that the American president kept, Jefferson categorized the plant as a vegetable and noted a recipe for pickled nasturtium seeds that he enjoyed. Long before the nasturtium became a darling of the royal and presidential set of Europe and America, they were prized by the ancient Incas of Peru who Jesuit missionaries noted appreciated it for its medicinal properties. They were onto something. Nasturtium contains more vitamin C than almost any other plant in existence which also made it popular onboard ships during Victorian times to ward off scurvy. Today, chef’s prize nasturtium blooms for their bold, peppery flavor that brightens the flavor of a dish as much as it enlivens the look of it. We’ve noticed a growing trend amongst chefs who are shifting from merely seeing the nasturtium bloom as a garnish to allowing it to reach its full potential as a fully thought out flavor vibrant and complex enough to compete with anything else on the plate. 16. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

EDIBLE FLOWERS A few years ago we thought that the time for flowers as a garnish had passed. It wasn’t the flowers that were passé, it was how we thought about them. What chefs have told us is that flowers with flavor are an important part of many dishes. People eat with their eyes first – and if a cucumber-flavored borage flower just happens to look beautiful, but adds a flavor component to the plate, then it belongs there just as much as a sauce.







1. | Bachelor Buttons slightly sweet and spicy 2. | Borage Flowers fresh cucumber-like flavor 3. | Citrus Begonia sweet and tart 4. | Citrus Marigolds mild followed by a note of citrus zest 5. | French Marigolds multi-color petals are sweet and aromatic 6. | Egyptian Star Flower petals are sweet and full of nectar | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Mixed Beet Blush

Roots in Unique Ways:

It is late winter, and you’re trying to cook seasonally. Well until that first asparagus pushes through the spring frost, you are not stuck with potatoes! The varieties of roots available now are mind-blowing. And growing them differently – like brightly colored leaves or vermicelli-like garlic roots - allows more diversity than ever for your winter menu.

18. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Young Beets

Crazy Carrots

Celery Root

Young and Full Size Carrots

Garlic Root

Jerusalem Artichokes

Crosnes | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


GREENS AND LEAVES We like to think of our plants as the living paint, the plate as your canvas, and you Chef, as the artist who paints the picture. Our leaf collection and petite greens don’t just have beautiful shapes and colors, the flavors – ranging from tart Hibiscus and Sorrel leaves to spicy and peppery Mustard leaves – will be the perfect component to finish your masterpiece.

Citrus Lace

Hibiscus Leaves

aroma and flavor of oranges and lemon

sweet, tart citrus

Flaming Sorrel deep, slightly bitter


minty flavor

Purple Sweet Potato Leaves

Plum Lucky Sorrel deep, slightly bitter minty flavor

Mache flavors of artichoke and pink rose

nicely balanced sweet flavor

20. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Asian Greens

Arugula sweeter and milder, slightly spicy

Bok Choy mild with subtle cabbage notes

Magma Mustard peppery and sweet

Bowtie Arugula rich, peppery taste

Red Ribbon Arugula peppery and nutty


Ruffled Red Mustard pungent and peppery

Tat Soi mild with subtle cabbage notes

Wasabi Mustard spicy and similar to wasabi root


New Zealand sweet and buttery

Purple Spinach Leaves mild flavor

Red Malabar mild and earthy

Tropical mildly bitter | Call 800.289.4644

Ice Spinach sweet and nutty


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Calvin Pea Tendrils


alvin Lamborn has twenty grandchildren but his busy family schedule doesn’t stop this innovative, 82 year old botanist of Twin Falls, Idaho from cultivating some of the most flavorful and unique pea varieties in the world. He’s the inventor of the sugar snap pea and more recently, a new product that we’re growing here on the farm that is named for this amazing gentleman, the Calvin Pea Tendril. I had the honor of meeting Calvin a while back and he reminds me so much of my dad, Bob Jones, Sr. They’re both in their eighties yet they never slow down, their inquisitive minds always filled with fresh ideas and creative ways to dream up exciting new ingredients. Thomas Keller is as impressed by the work of Calvin Lamborn as I am, especially his incredible pea tendril which the botanist diligently created by introducing the pollen of one pea variety to another using a tweezers and his very sharp eye.

He painstakingly cross-pollinated varieties that offer the very best in flavor, color and texture until he produced a tendril with tightly curled fronds that emerge in the early stage of a plant’s life. The result is a beauty and because it appears when the plant is still young, the tiny leaves that flourish alongside the tendril, along with the tendril itself, are incredibly sweet and flavorful with a silky texture and vibrant green color. We were asked to grow the Calvin Pea Tendril at The Chef’s Garden for Thomas Keller’s restaurants. I couldn’t be more proud of this mighty little vegetable conjured by a man who proves time and time again, just like dad, that age is just a number and doesn’t define our ability to come up with brilliant new ideas no matter what stage we are at in life.

22. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

All About Legumes Nothing says summer quite like a perfect petit pois or haricot vert. But this time of year, we love to look at the other parts of the plant growing in our greenhouses. Pea Tendrils – gold, green and Calvin – have been a perennial favorite. And the blooms add both beauty and flavor to any plate. A peek into the future as we wait for spring.

Pea Tendrils raw sweet pea tender and delicate with a complex texture

Fava Bean Blooms delicate fragrance with a mild wintergreen flavor

Calvin Pea Tendrils

sweet and flavorful with a silky texture

Pea Blooms mild and delicate sweet pea flavor

Speckled Peas crisp, with a mild, refreshing flavor | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


In addition to the great selection of lettuces, we take it a few steps further. We have learned from chefs over the years that every stage of the plant’s life offers something cool and unique to the plate. That’s why veggies and even lettuces are offered in sizes ranging from Petite, which we actually harvest with scissors, to Ultra and Baby.

Green Bibb buttery with a raw pea finish

Green Tango

notes of hops with a nice balance between sweet and bitter


mildly bitter with lingering flavors of clover and apple skin

Green Rosette

sweet with flavors of grass and crab apple

Painted Oak

appropriately named with slight notes of acorn and hard woods

Red Oak

unexpectedly sweet with beautiful floral notes

Red Rosette

slightly bitter but savory with a mineral finish

Green Oak

sweet in flavor, a wonderful balance to acidic components

Lolla Rossa

versatile and balanced in sweetness and bitterness

24. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Reine D’ Glaces

bright savory flavor with hints of butter and acorn

Speckled Crispleaf

mildly rich and bitter flavors of crisp grass and sweet radish


sweet and mild with a juicy stem and carrot overtones

Speckled Density

slightly sweet with a faint walnut flavor

Green Romaine

delicate juicy, buttery flavor, delectable and holds up well on the plate


notes of old world red wine and honey

Painted Crispleaf

tart and toothsome with celery notes

Red Rose

flavors of traditional romaine with light notes of raw pecan and green peanut

Sweet Romaine

peppery, salty, zesty and grassy with a sweet finish

Sizing “Lettuce” Harvest It To Your Favorite Size The lettuces in this guide are photographed at “baby” size. We can harvest some varieties at a different stage of growth depending on your plating needs. Please ask your product specialist about petite and ultra sized packaging.

Petite (p) Lettuce 2"-3”

Ultra (u) Lettuce 3"- 4"

Baby (b) Lettuce 4"- 6"

sold by 50 ct. pkg.

sold by pkg. or #

sold by # | Call 800.289.4644

13. 25.

The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Potatoes: Sweet Burgundy Sweet pleasant, sweet & crisp; aromatic


Créme Brûlée Sweet Potato

custard cream flavor; tones of vanilla

Copper Penny rich & dense; sweet flavor

Crown Jewel waxy, dense; vegetal flavor

Before we named this variety of sweet potato, which tastes like custard cream or creme anglaise with hints of malted vanilla and caramel with a clean finish and velvety texture, it was named the unglamorous Sp 159-26. That’s not a very flattering title for one of the best sweet potatoes I’ve had the pleasure of tasting in my life. Which is why the moment we tasted it, its name was changed to the fitting créme brûlée. Purple Sweet From the time I was a little kid in overalls harvesting sweet potatoes on the farm, sweet, buttery flavor they’ve always had special spot in my heart. They have to be dug up by hand because their irregular shape doesn’t suit a conventional harvester and still today, each time I reach into the lush, sandy soil for a new potato it’s like discovering a treasure, each one, like people, having its own unique shape and contours.

Sweet Rustic dry & dense; squash-like flavor

The créme brûlée sweet potato is a throwback variety that was developed by crossing the most interesting heirlooms with each other to finally emerge at one of the most extraordinary sweet potatoes I’ve ever come across.

26. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide

Potatoes: Traditional

All Blue low moisture and a fairly

Austrian Crescent yellow skin, creamy yel-

high starch content

low flesh; sweet & nutty

Desiree waxy pink-red skin and firm creamy yellow flesh

Red Thumb brilliant-red skin and reddish-pink flesh with a luscious flavor

Purple Majesty purple skin and flesh with a buttery flavor and creamy texture

Spartan Splash yellow skin with splashes of purple, creamy yellow flesh

Dark Red Norland dark red skin and crisp white flesh with a moist, firm texture

Gullauga yellow skin & flesh; rich, earthy flavor

Yellow Creamer firm, creamy, yellow flesh with a slightly sweet taste and floury texture | Call 800.289.4644


The Chef's Garden, Inc. Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.


A new twist to the old tuber favorite!


cas are something new from an ancient culture. Riding the trend for healthy food, they originate from Peru, a country blending Spanish, African, Japanese and Chinese cultures. Predating the Incas as a staple crop of the high Andes, ocas were exported to Europe and the United States on many occasions but did not catch on until the 1970s. They are a sought-after delicacy available in a range of patterns, this winter crop is at its peak growing season when days are shorter. Their shiny, waxy skin cleans easily, and is available in a mix of pink and cream; the pink tubers turn pale-yellow when cooked. Ocas are 2”-6” long and no more than 1-1/2” wide. When eaten raw, ocas are slightly tangy, with the texture of a crunchy carrot.

Cooked, ocas have the flavor and consistency of cooked potato and carrot, potato with sour cream or even winter squash. Nutritionally similar to potatoes, ocas are richer in vitamin C. They are also high in iron and potassium, as well as vitamins A and B6. Raw tubers are served with salt, lemon and hot pepper. They can also be boiled, baked or fried as a potato would be. Substitute ocas in recipes − such as stews and soups − calling for potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables. This delicacy is often served on slices of raw fish that is dressed in flavorful sauce, or on grilled skewers of marinated meats and shellfish. As a sweet, ocas can be used in place of rhubarb or gooseberries when baking pie.

28. | | Call 800.289.4644

RENEW| Winter Early Spring Menu Planning Guide



English Peas

Plum Lucky Sorrel with Bloom

Mr. Frye’s Rhubarb


Watercress Blooms


Chive Blooms

Snow Peas

Squash Blossoms

Garlic Shoot

Purslane Rosettes | Call 800.289.4644


Growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.

Ice Spinach®| Harvested to Order | 419.433.4947

The Chef’s Garden | | Product availability is weather dependent and is subject to change. Product images are not to scale. © The Chef’s Garden, Inc. 2017

RENEW: Winter Early Spring 2017 Menu Planning Guide  

This issue of RENEW, our first menu planner of 2017, focuses not only on the delicious crops we are growing now, but also tells some of the...

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