Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticulture Interpreter Charles Day, fruit expert and fig fancier, led the cooking demonstration October 13. These demonstrations, keyed to the seasons, happen occasionally each year.
This is not a surprising statement, given that most people like food and that the location (in the garden, whenever the weather permits) is unbeatable, but the plein-air Cooking with Figs demonstration last Saturday was outstanding. More than five dozen visitors reveled in the glorious autumn weather while they learned about this luscious fruit.
My role was to set the scene by giving an introduction to the subject with a brief description of the botany and history of the fig and to touch on how figs may be grown in a garden.
I then handed over to Tim Mercado, a chef from Great Performances (Wave Hill’s caterer), who led the culinary part of the program. He had already offered out some tasty samplers of black Mission figs on a variety of farmers’ cheeses to sustain the audience through my botanical segment, and he continued with a simple but delicious arugula herb salad with Brown Turkey figs and a toasted walnut and sherry dressing, pictured here. The finale was a main course of an herb roasted chicken with a Calimyrna fig and port sauce. Not bad fare for a free event—and no extra charge for the perfect weather and stunning autumnal views. My thanks to master photographer Joshua Bright for these wonderful images of the day.