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With the arrival of spring it's the perfect excuse to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into some long overdue gardening, spurred on by the easy growth and the promise of a seasonal bounty of produce. Even more so if you enjoy cooking your garden's rewards!
If you're limbering up ready to put your green fingers to work this month, you're in good company. Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson recently announced that he's hanging up his apron to get stuck back into his garden. And he's not alone.
Phaidon's rich new publication The Garden Chef (April, £29.95), profiles 40 of the world's best chefs in the world like Matt Orlando, Alice Waters, Simon Rogan and Michel Bras, and company, who enjoy nothing more than tending the beds in their beloved kitchen gardens.
It's a fascinating look at chefs getting closer to growing their ingredients and putting them on the plate with 100 signature recipes fresh from their kitchen gardens. Like Peter Gilmore from Quay restaurant in Sydney, who's just at home pottering in his garden tending his heirloom vegetables as he is sauteing them in his shiny new restaurant.
From growing tips, favourite plant varieties as well as valuable advice for both gardeners and cooks, it's a refreshing new angle of some chefs we rarely get to see out of the kitchen.
From traditional kitchen gardens to urban community farms and allotments polytunnels and raised beds, aeroponic roof gardens, there's not a one garden fits all, especially when we're talking the extreme conditions of Iceland or the temperate French riviera. It's all a question of taste!
Step the chefs inside their gardens:
Quay, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Photo courtesy of Quay / Nikki
Gísli Matthías Auðunsson Slippurinn, Strandvegur, Westman Islands, Iceland
Photo courtesy of Slippurinn / Gunnar Freyr
Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovene Littoral, Slovenia.
Dish description: Rabbit That Wants To Be Chicken.
Photo courtesy of Hiša Franko / Suzan Gabrijan
The Dairy, Clapham, London, UK.
Photo courtesy of The Dairy
Mirazur, Menton, Côte d’Azur, France.
Photo courtesy of Mirazur
Quintonil Jorge Vallejo
Quintonil, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico.
Dish description: From the “Chinampas” Salad.
Photo courtesy of Quintonil / Fernando Gómez Carbajal
The Garden Chef is available for purchase from Phaidon here.