A Desert Oasis with 4 Great Spicy Recipes

Phoenix chef Jeffrey Beeson beats the odds (and the heat) to create a diverse herb garden on the side of a steep cliff.

| December/January 1999

4 Great Recipes

Barbecued Hawaiian Tuna with ...

Charred Yellow Tomato SauceSmoked Shrimp SalsaGreen Chile Grits

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series on chefs’ herb gardens.

Chef Jeffrey Beeson holds no sympathy for his colleagues who claim black thumbs. “When they tell me they could never grow anything, I tell them to find a small planter box, fill it with soil and their four favorite herbs,” he says. “Then if everything goes OK, to start their own garden.” Certainly Beeson has proven his own green thumb in a lush mountaintop herb ­garden 1,800 feet above the Phoenix Valley at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, where he serves as executive chef for the Different Pointe of View restaurant.

The terraced garden, which steps up the mountainside below the restaurant, has been a collaborative effort among Beeson, his culinary staff, and the ­resort’s landscaping department. When Beeson first saw it four years ago, the 1,800-square-foot area was in ­decent shape but a far cry from the lush Eden it is today. “I’ve always had a garden at my home, so this was a comfortable thing to step into and continue,” he says.

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