Monthly Archives: May 2014

Houston: We Have Green

Cloudy Garden

(Photo Credit: Amass)

I want to start off by thanking everyone who commented on the last post and gave their feed back about creating a system to protect restaurants from the unfortunate scenario of “No Call, No Show” tables. We really gained a lot of valuable information and even implemented some of the suggestions. To those who didn’t agree with the blog post, of course you have a right to your opinion, but you are clearly living in an alternate reality than the majority of the population live in…but onto a more positive note.

cabbage

It’s GREEN!!! (Photo Credit: Amass)

What else can I say, but “WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO COOK WITH THAN ROOT VEGETABLES!!!!!!!” Not that root vegetables are a bad thing, but I think we were all craving something green. We became desperate to the point that we were taking branches from hibernating black currant bushes and re-sprouting them in the dining room so we could use the young leaves on our beet dish. Surprisingly, it worked out so well that we are going to focus on many different bushes and trees next winter so we actually have a little greenery next winter. And hey, if anything, it will at least keep the morale up.

In my desperation for anything green, I realized how fortunate I am to have my own garden. As a chef you always dream of having your own garden. Then you get it and are completely thrown back by how much of an influence it has on you and your staff, then winter comes and it is almost completely taken a way from you and it makes you realize even more how lucky we are to have this space that inspires us everyday. I promise that I will never take it for granted.

There's something down there...(Photo Credit: Amass)

There’s something down there…(Photo Credit: Amass)

Speaking of our garden, all our plans regarding the garden are finally coming to fruition…literally. We have added a total of 32 more planter boxes and just built our first of two keyhole gardens that will eat up a good majority of our kitchen waste and cardboard. Our compost bins are really moving along and within the next month we will be adding a poly-tunnel (hoop house to all the Americans) to grow some of the more “difficult” plants that don’t deal well with Scandinavian weather.

What does this mean for our menu? It’s become a product of spring and the ingredients coming

Spring goodies in dessert form: Soured cream, sweet cicely and absinthe.

Spring goodies in dessert form: Soured cream, sweet cicely and absinthe.

through the backdoor are inspiring us to change on a regular basis. While winter challenges us to make new things out of the same ingredients, spring challenges us to make new things with constantly changing ingredients. We have a few farm trips planned in the coming weeks to see how certain things are progressing that we planned with the farmers at the end of last season. In general the vibe and atmosphere at the restaurant is amazing, but just to shake up things a bit, we’re planning something out of left field for the restaurant when the weather warms up a bit more. I won’t say what it is yet, but it involves lots messy fingers, lots of napkins and chilling out in our garden.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the garden with pictures and updates. Hope to see you basking in the sun this summer on a blanket, while drinking wine and eating(?????????). T.B.A.
Sunset

Postscript

I just wanted to say good luck to Casper Larsen. He is moving to Canada to work. He doesn’t work at Amass, but has been quite a personality at the restaurant­–so much to the point that I forgave him for vomiting in the bathroom last time he came to eat. Casper, a piece of advice: Noma+Christiania+Amass all in one day=Praying to the porcelain gods late at night.

Good luck my friend. You will be missed. I look forward to following the next chapter in your career.