Executive Chef at JW Marriott at Anaheim Resort Shares Ways to Cook With Produce From Your Garden

Amol Agarwal is the executive chef at JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort, where he uses fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the on-site garden.
Photographer courtesy of JW Marriott Anaheim Resort

Easy herbs …
Basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint can be used in so many ways, and they are low-maintenance herbs. You don’t have to grow them again—herbs like cilantro you have to replant them or reseed them, but those four you don’t have to. Once you plant them, all you have to do is keep trimming them and they will keep growing.

Fresh cocktails …
We also have strawberries, jalapenos, and lavender. The way I’m using these fruits and herbs is not only for food but also for our beverage program. For someone at home, if they want to make mojitos, there’s nothing better than fresh mint or basil. You can use lavender flowers and leave them in vodka, and in two days, it picks up the aroma and a little bit of the nice, sweet flavor. You can do the same thing with jalapenos.

Garden meals …
We have some orange (trees), and I made orange marmalade that we use for our avocado toast. I also make pesto, tomato sauce, and salad dressing. I use our fresh strawberries for salads and to go with our chocolate soufflé. I use a little bit of jalapeno in our fresh herb mix that we use for roasting our chicken, and we put a little bit in our meatballs to add a little spice. We also use the herbs for our Parmesan truffle fries.

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