Words cannot explain my gratitude to the James Beard Foundation Awards Council for their recognition as a “Who’s Who” in the culinary community. According to their website, the award is given to “individuals in the U.S. food and beverage industry who have made significant and lasting achievements and contributions to their profession.” That’s a huge honor that I feel I need to really pass along to those who have mentored me, my family and our approach to quality on the farm.
The culinary greats I’d like to pay homage to include Ferran Adrią, Paul Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller, Jean Louis Palladin, Charlie Trotter, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Bob Waggoner.
Their quest for excellence and guidance over the years shaped American culinary culture and their passion has inspired many.
It was about 30 years ago when this sort of passion ignited my dad to take a direction that was unheard of for a small family farm. We had a couple of local chefs, Iris Bailin and Parker Bosley, both classically trained in Europe, who would visit our farmer’s market stand and ask for things we’d never heard of before, like squash blossoms! Week after week they wouldn’t let up. It was persistence and their unwavering commitment to sustainably grown veggies that inspired us to grow into what we’ve become today…The Chef’s Garden!