Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Eating local in Paris comes from the roof

Chefs in Paris are taking the concept of "eating locally" to heart, with rooftop gardens sprouting up around the French capital. And they say the concept is here to stay.

  Even slap bang in the middle of Paris, chefs are taking the slogan "eat local" to heart, planting kitchen gardens on the roofs of their restaurants.
 The secret of success in producing organic vegetables of comparable quality to those grown in market gardens rests on a magic potion put together with France's national agricultural research institute, the INRA.
The key is the rich substrata createe from urban organic waste such as coffee grains, grass and wood cuttings, which are both lighter and richer than normal soil. To this goes fungus spores and a liberal dose of earthworms and compost.
The restaurant roof gardens in Paris tend to work on organic lines. Basil and carnations are planted next to tomatoes to keep away aphids, with black soap used as an insecticide and nettle manure to push on plants that fail to thrive. Crops are rotated with the seasons so as not to exhaust the soil.
But work still needs to be done to make the gardens pay for themselves.
Last May I ate at Ecole Ferrandi - a school of gastrony, which opened the city's newest rooftop garden and hopes to help spread cuisine from roof gardens.
"The idea is that a roof garden should not just be reserved for haute cuisine. We want to show that it can pay its way on what can be harvested from it," says Pablo Jacob, a 25-year-old future chef in the last year of his studies.
 The materials for the sixth-floor Ferrandi garden, with its large wooden plant boxes set across a terrace, cost €7,500 euros 
Pablo picked up a sprig of oysterleaf -- "mertensia maritima" -- a rare herb with a strong taste of the sea, which even on the wholesale market costs a small fortune per portion.
"You have to choose plants with high added value, and it takes time," he said in front of his boxes of sage, melissa and woodruff.
The eat-local mantra which is developing not just in the countryside but "in the middle of Paris is the big thing for future chefs", he said.
"It is not just a trend, it's here to stay."
Cara - Tuesday

No comments:

Post a Comment