This past Saturday, we got a chance to see The Chef’s Garden in full swing! Finally a quick peek into the magic of farm fresh produce and perfect gardening…Needless to say, we were in farm heaven.  

Veggie U 2010 - Food & Wine Celebration

Thanks to Stephanie and Amanda for communicating with us prior to our arrival. They were all SO nice.  

So we found a few things that made us laugh. It’s a million dollar industry and Farmer Lee Jones has a 50-cent parking sign with stickum letters. Hilarious!  

I wouldn't park here...

Up to the main office, it really is the country. Low key and totally simplistic, their whole operation cracks me up. Awesome. We would move in tomorrow if we could.  

Farmhouse main office indeed

The actual VeggieU event was held separate from their main “offices”. On our arrival, we were given the VIP treatment by the Director of Operations and the various staff around. Of course they were busy, but each one of them took the time to smile and say hi.  

Where the magic happens...

As they setup for their event, we had a chance to walk around and talk to a few people.  

Before the madness of VeggieU

Of course one of the first Chefs we run into is Chef Jonathon Sawyer from @thegreenhouse. As usual, he’s smiling and laughing-just a hilarious guy. We were hoping to chat with @Chefswidow too, but maybe next time.  

Note: The entire staff was hurriedly running around making final preparations…indeed quite the huge event for The Chef’s Garden.  

In their kitchen, we had a chance to bend the ear of Executive Chef Marc Alfano. He explained the ongoing kitchen competition that was going down. In fact, one of our favorite Chefs from Puerto Rico, Chef Guillermo Gonzalex of Taste Global Cuisine was frantically preparing his dish, readying for the food photogs, and then off to the judges table. Man, it was almost like being in the TopChef Kitchen!  

Chef Guillermo Gonzalez just about to walk into judging

BTW-ever since we took our entire staff to Puerto Rico, we highly recommend Taste Global Cuisine to everyone that goes. Outstanding service and superb food. In fact, if you look back in Twitter (@QuarryLaneFarms), you’d find that we stopped not once, not twice, but three freakin times! AWESOME. Go there – Twitter: @TasteGlobal and their Website

Additionally TheChefsGarden Executive Chef Alfano mentioned the year round schooling they do to raise the awareness of the plight of veggies. Admirable indeed since they believe in the farm to plate.  

Things were a blur as kitchen got louder and honestly, we loved it…WE WANTED TO JUMP IN!  

Just like in our kitchen - controlled chaos

As we wandered outside again, we found the man of the hour Farmer Lee Jones staffing an interview. We chatted for quite sometime, and our opinion, this guy is the real deal. He is funny, he was carrying boxes for other Chefs and all around a really nice guy. Despite the million things going down for the event, he chatted with us for a long while extolling the virtues of tomatos and bow ties.  

The Chefs Garden Farmer Lee Jones working the mojo

And we believed him too. FYI @farmerleejones is a big dude. We love him. 

I wish we were BFFs

We had a chance to see Chef Dave Martin (@chefdavemartin) from Top Chef Season 1. Chef Martin looked a bit busy as we just exchanged obligatory Chef nods as we passed each other on several occasions. Chef Martin probably had a ton of things on his mind…  

Former Top Chef contestant Chef Dave Martin

Besides, I was a little afraid to approach a Chef with the words “Food Guru” embroidered on his jacket.  

Chef Lee Anne Wong (@leeannewong) who was also a contestant on Top Chef Season 1 was chillin with the crew. Found out she is the current Culinary Producer of Top Chef and of course highly decorated in the food industry. Whoa, definitely salute her.  

Chef Lee Anne Wong - Cool

Kinda want to be BFF with her now. So cool. BTW-way cuter IRL.  

Had we more time, we would also have introduced ourselves to Chef Tony Dee of Barton G, Chef Rachel Speith of Three Birds, Chef Anna Kim of Sans Souci, Chef Michael Clampffer of Mosefund Farms. Also had a great conversation with another Chef’s wife from Park City, UT hotel restaurant. Don’t remember her name, but completely humble and really nice. We need more people like her and her husband! Also spocking out @ClevelandFoodie too. I hear she was at the event too. 

Of course we always see Chef Sawyer at The Greenhouse in Cleveland, so we opted to let the Best New Chef of 2010 live the dream. BTW-Ratatouille is the perfect dish for the occasion. Michelle V (@ClevelandFoodie) has a great picture of this on her FB page. 

Chef Sawyer is hilarious!

He laughs so much!  

Overall, a great event and great cause – Veggies! Staff was super and it really is a nice place. From one “farm” to another “farm” we thank you for a great event! 

Wish we could have taken more pictures, but apparently, we like to talk. Hey-maybe next year, we’ll be granted live blogging access for the event.  

And yes, it was fun typing “Live from @TheChefsGarden…”  

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…