Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Green Market Chef

Our second meeting of the fun garden group was yesterday!  As we all gathered in our host's beautiful home we were introduced to our talented chef who would not only prepare lunch for us but school us in the attributes of a green market restaurant.

Green Market cooking at home or operating a Green Market restaurant takes some planning.  It is difficult to do this for more than six months out of the year in our zone five.  I know you are thinking right now, I can get anything I want at the local grocery store or the organic supermaket.  Green Market means locally grown, no exposure to pestisides or pollutants such as gasoline or exhaust from the big shipping trucks.  I know this is difficult to attain but this is what our Green Market Restranteurs are trying to achieve.

Our chef studied in France and at the Culinary Institute in upstate New York.  He has his own restaurant called Socca in Chicago.

I know not everyone is into growing vegetables but just think about how much you can control when you are growing them in your own garden.

The lunch was prepared in our host's home and then transported to the Historical church a few door from this home.  Our appetizer was a sweet potato and apple soup with asparagus wrapped in proscuitto. 

On to lunch at a vintage church hall that was saved by the community a few years back.  Our garden club has been instrumental in helping with a redo on the landscaping.  This is an ongoing project and will continue next spring.

The church was built in 1900 by German immigrants for their congregation.  It is a carpenter - Gothic stlyle building. 

Through the years it has served as a church, office space and a preschool.  The Historical Society led a successful effort to save the church from demolition.

After two years and a one million dollar mostly privately funded renovation the church was granted historic status and put on the National Register of Historic Places.  It reopend in 2008 and is now used for multiple community functions.

The beautiful stained glass windows are throughout the church, on both sides and up in the balcony.

Spinach, greens and a brined seared chicken, with a pumpkin and yogurt mini quiche on top, yum, yum!  The dessert was to die for, a bread pudding made with croissants drizzled with chocolate and topped with whipped cream.

Our chef Roger and his assistant busily put the finishing touches on lunch in the church kitchen.


Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

I now find myself terribly hungry after reading your post. Especially that bread pudding - mmmmmmmm. The historic church is beautiful ~ so glad an effort was made to preserve & protect it! The original buildings in our communities were once the backbone of our towns and villages and should be respected.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, what a wonderful tour again today. I loved the church, those stained glass windows with the dark purple to red glass are gorgeous, thank goodness it was preserved. It is so sad to see landmarks torn down in the interest of 'progress'. The lunch looked like a lot of fun too, you have a neat garden group!

Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, As you are no doubt aware, I am a great fan of this 'fun' gardening group since the delicious lunches are worth joining for in themselves. This event was particularly special with the culinary demonstration and the food looked to be wonderful.

What a very charming church, too. I am delighted that it has been rescued and continues to serve the community in such a beautiful way.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Eileen girl this was wonderful !
Although you have made me crazy with this menu it is so delicious sounding and LOOKING !
I love the architecture of the church and the beautiful stained windows .. small but awesome .. it must have wonderful atmosphere to match.
I hope to take more advantage next year of our market square in Kingston. It is true that produce tastes so much better from local providers : )
Wonderful post girl except now I am craving that bread pudding ! LOL

meemsnyc said...

Looks like a wonderful meal and a wonderful time! What a beautiful church!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank Lisaa, I am still thinking about that bread pudding but I don't dare make it, mucho calories!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I knew you would like those stained glass windows. I wish I could have shown all of them, they were spectacular.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Edith, you are correct, the lunches are worth going for and the conversation.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joy, that bread pudding was delicious, so therefore I will never make it unless I am having company. I could eat some right now if it was here.


Zoey said...


That is my kind of church.

Your meal looks delicious!

I wish I was eating it right now.

joey said...

My kind of wonderful day, Eileen, and how fun to be beside you in your wonderful photos/delicious post. Thank you for sharing. Blogging friends are wonderful:)

Wendy said...

wow, this sounds like a really fun event! And the food sounds and looks incredible!

garden girl said...

What an excellent event Eileen. I wanna join YOUR garden club!

The church is breathtaking. I LOVE old churches, especially since I grew up in one.

Your lunch sounds like quite a wonderful treat.

Mary Anne said...

What a beautiful post of this wonderful day at garden club. Your photos are wonderful Eileen, your garden shots of posts prior to this are superb! But, the talents of that wonderful was my first with that pumpkin added to the goat cheese souffle. Thanks to you for promoting Socca and the chef!

The Chef's Mom ox

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Mary Anne, my apologies to the chef for substituting yogurt for goat cheese. It was delicious!