Thursday, July 7, 2011
The name Noel Patterson may not be familiar to many foodies, but he’s one of the key background players in a number of exciting projects around town. A former sommelier for the now-defunct VinTabla, his name chiefly pops up when people start talking about local-foods and gardening, and how restaurants are integrating both into their business plans.
Patterson’s name came up again today while Brian Metzger was discussing how the chef’s garden for jaxKitchen is coming along. Metzger says the garden that Patterson, who also does the gardening for popular downtown hotspot 47 Scott, designed for his restaurants is flourishing, and that he’s expecting a bumper crop of Armenian cucumbers, okra, chiles, squash, heirloom eggplant, tomatoes and basil around the first week of August.
It’s doing so well that Metzger plans to start holding special three-course meals featuring produce from the garden in early August. Chef Ginny Wooters—who also oversees operations at the Metzger’s other restaurant, The Abbey Eat + Drink —will present a special garden-themed dinner every Wednesday, says Metzger, who expects the price tag to come in around $35.
Anyone interested in the dinners is encouraged to sign up for the restaurant's newsletter via jaxKitchen's website.
Metzger also said he’s put house-made pasta back on the menu at jaxKitchen, which gives him a chance to use even more of the veggies in those dishes. “This is more about trying to have fun, nobody’s getting rich,” said Metzger, adding that Patterson has also been dropping off deliveries of homegrown hen eggs, honeycomb and other things he grows in his own garden downtown.
Metzger said he’s been ramping up the cocktail program at jaxKitchen as well, adding more infused liquors and playing with different cocktails. Liquors infused with cucumber, pineapple, apple and other fruits have made it into the rotation recently.