Lions and Tigers and Herbs

Chef Pete Peterson couldn’t resist helping himself to the massive resources in the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s 4,000-square-foot herb garden. Now, with cuttings and transplants from the mother garden, he has a culinary plot of his own.

| February/March 2000


Chef Pete Peterson gardens and cooks at the 2,200-acre San Diego Wild Animal Park, where more than 3,200 Asian and African elephants roam in dense forests, flourishing wetlands, sprawling savannas, and open plains. The park is also a botanical garden that boasts more than 3,500 species of exotic plants.

Photos courtesy Zoological Society of San Diego

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on chefs and their herb gardens. 


Tomato Basil Pistou  

Cilantro Cashew Pesto  

Orange Tarragon Oil 

The tracks were deep and unmis- takable: a large creature was prowling the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s herb garden. This animal was ­particularly elusive, moving easily and quickly through the garden, snatching only the tenderest growth. Experienced trackers soon were on the trail, and about 100 yards from the garden they cornered their prey in the park’s kitchen. “They recognized my clog prints,” laughs chef Pete Peterson. “First they told me to keep out of the garden. Then they taught me how and when to pick the herbs.”

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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