PHYLLIS ODESSEY

You’re The Top You’re the Waldorf Astoria

If you live in New York, there is always a view you haven’t seen.  If I had to choose a potager with ta  view, it would be the one at the Waldorf.  The garden was the inspiration of David Garcelon, Executive Chef at the Waldorf.  He came to New York from the Fairmont Hotel in Toronto, which has a very large veg garden on its roof.  The gold supports on the beehives, the white containers reminiscent of Chateau de Villandry and green astro turf on the deck scream pretentiousnesses, but it’s a showpiece as much as a working garden.
It’s easy to be cynical or at least skeptical about this type of venture: a kitchen garden at the top of the Waldorf.  On Tuesday night, I went to the top:  the roof the the Waldorf Astoria, where the Hort Society and New York Beekeepers have partnered with the Waldorf  Hotel to create a kitchen garden filled with herbs, fruit trees and bee hives. 

George Pisenga, Director of Horticulture for Hort Society has exciting plans for the garden.  Doubling the current space, adding a large dining table and holding events that highlight the garden and the bees. Andrew Cote of New York City Beekeepers and Bees Without Borders (http://www.andrewshoney.com/Bees Without Borders)   is packaging the honey gathered from the hives at the Waldorf.  We were treated to a jar.

Chef Garcelon and all the other chefs from the Waldorf use the herbs  from the garden to garnish their dishes.  The fruit produced by the “orchard,” they intend to use to make signature cocktails for the Waldorf bars.  Cole Porter’s lyrics “You’re the top! You’re a Waldorf salad” might have to change to “You’re a Waldorf cocktail.”

We ate delicious lavender cookies at sunset prepared by Chef Garcelon.  A perfect way to watch the sunset over Manhattan.

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