I was terrifically lucky to score not one, but two, invites to his garden this summer. The first was a delightful cocktail party on the eve of the Chefs Collaborative Summit where he opened his home to the sustainably minded food professionals who descended on Chicago in mid-September. Because my clunky Canon didn't go with my cocktail dress, I took no pictures that evening. No, these shots are from a few weeks later when I toured his garden with a small group of friends working on improving the food systems on Chicago's south side.
Bayless' garden takes up almost two entire city lots bordering on an old train line. The home formerly was a neighborhood tavern (quite apropos for a restaurateur). One lot is ornamental with beautiful outdoor living space. The second is a working farm/garden that provides produce for his restaurants.
During these gray, cold Chicago winter days, I wanted to share these photos, a reminder of how beautiful the harvest season can be.
In the spirit of sharing, we're having our first blog giveaway. Thor has pulled a number between 1 and 30 from his winter hat. The poster whose post corresponds with that number shall win Rick Bayless's wonderful cookbook Mexican Everyday. Only rule? One post per person.