Herb-Infused Recipes from a Chef

| August/September 1994

Beehive Chefs Association Recipes:

• Harvest Lasagna
• Fresh Tomato and Herb Sauce
• Fresh Egg Pasta 

Sandwiched into a vacant lot between two apartment buildings in downtown Salt Lake City, an herb garden flourishes. Pass­ersby can glimpse cinnamon basil and bronze fennel where they might have expected to see weeds and rubble. The plot, maintained by students in the Beehive Chefs Association training program for professional chefs, is a learning ground for the art of growing and using fresh herbs. To gain certification from the chef organization, students must spend some time working in this garden.

In the culinary business, a good working relationship with fresh herbs is a decided advantage. The chefs’ garden is part of a larger community garden that adds greenery to a downtown sea of concrete and automobiles. This amiable arrangement is made possible by the University of Utah, which owns the land and lends it to the Beehive Chefs apprentices and other Salt Lake gardeners. The chef organization, a chapter of the American Culinary Federation, pays for the water to maintain the herb garden, which was first planted about ten years ago. There are currently sixty-six students in the two- and three-year culinary programs.

“The garden is basically a learning experience so the students can see what the herbs look like, what they smell like, what they taste like, of course, and how to grow them and use them,” says Barry Knabe, a sous-chef for a downtown bank who was introduced to the garden when he was a chef-in-training. He has been involved in various capacities with the garden ever since and is often there now to buy fresh herbs for meals he prepares for bank officials and important clients.

Besides being sniffed, touched, and tasted by the student chefs and used in their classes, herbs from the garden are sold to an herb retailer who distributes them to area restaurants and supermarkets. The money raised by the garden, which last year netted about $1400, underwrites a scholarship for a worthy culinary student and pays for needed equipment and plant starts.

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