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.