Gift Guide 2020: Perfect Produce

November 28, 2020

When I was at Gourmet, the best days were the ones when a box arrived from The Chef’s Garden. We never knew what would be in there, and we’d hover over the box, oohing and aahing as the most astonishing produce was revealed.

The Chef’s Garden, in Huron Ohio, has been growing vegetables for the world’s best chefs for almost 40 years. They are, among other things, responsible for the microgreen craze.

“When everybody else started using mesclun,” says Farmer Lee Jones, “Charlie Trotter began looking for the next new thing. His chef came to our greenhouse and looked at a flat of radishes that were just beginning to sprout. ‘What’s that?’ he asked. We told him that they weren’t ready yet. He said he wanted them anyway – and before long we were sending microgreens of all sorts to chefs across the country.”

For years chefs who wanted exotic produce – edible flowers, ice spinach, beautiful beets as skinny as threads – they called on the Jones family. When restaurants began to close because of Covid, the Jones family pivoted to offering vegetables to home cooks.

If you want the sweetest and most nutritious carrots, potatoes and salad greens, you can’t do better than this remarkable regenerative farm. Everything they grow is so beautiful that these days, when I think of sending flowers to friends, I send vegetables instead.

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