One of the huge benefits of living in Jackson is the wonderful access to locally grown produce and locally raised meat. For Chef Luke Biewick of North Grille at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis, the cooking starts in the garden.
After taking the helm at North Grille this winter, Biewick immediately went to work converting a huge greenhouse originally used for landscaping into a state of the art indoor vegetable garden. With seven additional beds alongside the greenhouse and two more by the kitchen, Biewick is able to grow almost everything: peppers, cucumbers, whole beans, peas, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, radishes, beets, fennel, chives and basil. That is in addition to grains like amaranth and buckwheat, edible flowers like nasturtium and marigold. All of the planting was done in April (with a lot of support from his team while Biewick was on crutches), using 100 percent recycled products.
Growing up gardening with his mother, Biewick is passionate about educating other cooks about the work that goes into creating a product. He finds that the more you know about the process of growing a plant, the more respect you have, and that respect immediately translates in the kitchen. Chefs are just the final step in a long process from seed to plate.
While gardening isn’t something you’re taught in culinary school, working with homegrown ingredients is essential to Biewick’s philosophy. His goal is to cut out as many middlemen as possible and lessen the carbon footprint of the restaurant industry — a message he loves carrying on to his cooks.
Biewick is most excited to have a hot greenhouse in Wyoming to grow tomatoes, a plant that loves humidity and can be difficult to grow in cold, dry climates. He is already brainstorming how he can preserve this summer’s harvest into the winter. It’s unusual to be able to eat local, garden-fresh ingredients during a Wyoming winter, so he’s looking forward to pickling veggies; cellaring potatoes, beets and sunchokes to bring out the sweetness; and preserving tomatoes in marinara sauce.
Swing by this summer to try the dinner menu, constantly changing to incorporate the garden’s freshest ingredients.
Other restaurants growing fresh ingredients in their own gardens:
Snake River Grill