May 19, 2014
Urban Cultivator At The Four Seasons Restaurant
I’ve written a couple of blogs about Urban Cultivator, the perfect indoor garden for your home or restaurant. It’s interesting to note that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1500 miles. Then ponder the trucks, warehouses, and gas used to carry that food. You should also know that fresh cut greens contain twice the nutritional value of store bought greens and growing them yourself ensures that no harmful chemicals or pesticides were used. Tarren Wolfe, the CEO of Urban Cultivator, travels extensively educating people about these facts and his wonderful products. He was in Manhattan last week checking on his clients and invited me to lunch at the wonderful Four Seasons Restaurant.
1 Here I am at the iconic Four Seasons Restaurant with Tarren Wolfe, the CEO of The Urban Cultivator.
2 Tarren invited me for a delicious lunch in the handsome Grill Room. The Four Seasons opened in 1959 and was designed by Modern architects Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe. The room has luminous French walnut-paneled walls and soaring two-story windows.
3 In the bar area, thousands of brass rods hang from the ceiling to produce, what is called a 'sculptured chandelier' effect. The Grill Room has always been the place for New York City's 'power lunches,' attracting a who's who of moguls, politicians, socialites, models, philanthropists, architects, and journalists.
4 You may recall my blog from last January when Tarren and Marco Tallarico joined me at our Starrett Lehigh offices to help set up and plant our Urban Cultivator commercial unit.
5 Tarren and Marco taught us how to fill the growing trays and plant them with seeds. I was sowing radish seeds in the growing medium.
6 The seed flats were placed in the Cultivator.
7 The Urban Cultivator's pre-programmed control center makes sure your greens get exactly the right amount of water and light, and the onboard fans control humidity and air circulation.
8 We filled every shelf of the Urban Cultivator.
9 Ten days later, the cultivator was flourishing with sprouts and micro-greens of all kinds.
10 These greens are used in the recipe development in the test kitchen, as garnishes in food photography, and for picking and eating. They are so delicious and so healthy!
11 This is the Urban Cultivator Residential unit, which has been installed in my greenhouse. This unit takes up the same footprint as a dishwasher and is plumbed to water and electrical in the same way. We chose to have ours as freestanding in the headhouse, but it can be installed beneath a counter, just like a dishwasher.
12 We love this unit and my gardener, Ryan McCallister, grows wheat grass for my canaries and doves and many kinds of herbs and sprouts for culinary uses. He also germinates difficult-to-grow seeds, like Siberian poppy.
13 Tarren recently installed an Urban Cultivator commercial unit in the kitchen of The Four Seasons Restaurant.
14 Restaurants love these Cultivators because they save a good deal of money by growing their own sprouts and micro-greens, which they use as ingredients and garnish.
15 Plus, these greens are as fresh as can be! At The Four Seasons, the Cultivator can be seen through the swinging doors from the Grill Room.
16 The Four Seasons is credited with introducing seasonally-changing menus to America. In his 1959 New York Times review, Craig Claiborne wrote, "An admirable feature of the restaurant is its extensive use of fresh herbs. Although herbs are used increasingly throughout America, they are not employed frequently in a fresh state."
17 He added, "At the Four Seasons, freshly picked rosemary, chervil, and sage, among many other herbs, are available to give character to dishes on customer demand." And now, with the Urban Cultivator, so many sprouts, greens, and herbs are there for the picking!