Inside The New York Botanical Garden

What’s Growing in Mario Batali’s Garden?

Posted in The Edible Garden on October 12 2010, by Plant Talk

Ann Rafalko is Director of Online Content.

Mario BataliMario Batali loves food.  I know. I once, quite by mistake, was fortunate enough to follow him and his wife around the Union Square Greenmarket here in New York City. My husband and I were shopping for dinner and were quite focused on the task at hand, but we kept bumping into the chef and his wife. His love of the market, the farmers and the community surrounding it was obvious. Here was a man who truly loves food.

I see this same love, dare I say gusto, in Mario’s selections for his raised garden bed in the Home Gardening Center here at The New York Botanical Garden. The inevitable waning of the growing season has naturally dwindled the selection remaining in the garden, but everything that is still in there is beautiful, fragrant, delicious and just begging to be cooked. When I go to visit the Home Gardening Center (it’s quite near the Cafe, and a lovely place to stroll around for a few minutes after lunch) I love playing a game with the Celebrity Chef gardens planted in conjunction with the Edible Garden: If so-and-so were to come to my house tonight to cook me dinner, what out of this garden would I ask them to cook?

And so, I’m extending this game to you!  Take a look at the beautiful produce remaining in Mario’s garden and then head of to The Botanical Garden’s page on Facebook.  There you’ll find a link to this post. Leave a comment imagining the dinner you would have Mario cook you based on his garden.  Then, head over to Mario Batali’s page on Facebook.  Over there you’ll find a link to his recipe index. Peruse that and then leave a comment on his page detailing which dish you’d have him make you if he were cooking you dinner.

Everyone who leaves a comment on both pages by 1 p.m. EDT Friday, October 15 will then be eligible for a random drawing for two front-row tickets to Mario Batali’s cooking demonstration at The Garden on Saturday, October 16. You’ll also get a special gift from Mario.  Not in New York City?  That’s okay, you can still enter. You’ll still get the gift from Mario Batali, plus a little something from us!  We’ll post the name of the winner on Friday afternoon on Facebook.

So, enough from me. Let’s see what’s growing in Mario’s garden!