Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Importance of Plate Liners

Green Wave Mustard Green Plate Liner

Each day that the restaurant has one of its nine course seatings, you can guarantee that every detail is met with thoughtful consideration and care. I'll be the first to tell you that I haven't dined at the HerbFarm, so when I say this, it isn't from a dining experience, it's what is happening behind the scenes. The HerbFarm isn't something you just swing by. Reservations are made months in advance and people actually fly in for dinner. It's a true investment to dine there, an experience. Which brings me to my next topic: Plate liners. Each day that I come to the HerbFarm garden, there is a harvest list. It varies day to day, but one thing is always certain to be included and that is plate liners. Since I haven't dined at the restaurant (yet) I have to imagine what plate liners are...obviously I cannot help but think of a leaf version of paper doilies- which I know cannot be right. The mystery alone is delicious. Once I actually doubt I'll be revealing all.
Plate liners are super important at the garden, each leaf is hand-picked and each leaf is carefully selected to match the rest of the leaves as close as possible. Plate liner harvesting can take up to 25 minutes to gather just 75 tender leaves that all resemble the same size and are free from any insect or color blemishes. Once the leaves are selected, they are placed into reusable containers that are labeled carefully.

According to Bill, at one time, the cooks use to come to the garden before service and gather the plate liners, but now it is something that the gardeners take care of. Were they even more specific than us? How nit picky are we compared to them? I wonder each time that I am picking plate liners; where is this tender leaf going to rest? Who is going to notice the intense shade of burgundy on this Ruby Streak leaf compared to the others that were gathered in the same bed? Obviously no one is- that's a laughable question. Especially with Kobe beef or a lovely salmon is resting next to it. Now that I am in the garden, foraging the product instead of using the product, I am seeing things with new eyes.

Lovage Plate Liner

1 comment:

Erin said...

woah, seriously you should get to dine there, maybe someone needs to give your hubby the tip? man I hope the diners appreciate the detail of those liners. ;)