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Mar 22, 2018
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Sidney Street Cafe sows self-sustaining seeds

April 15th 05:04pm, 2010

041310_SydneyStConsider it the latest wave in the locavore movement – because it doesn’t get any more local than produce grown just outside the kitchen door. From pots on the patio to beds on the roof, chefs all over town are planting gardens at their restaurants, allowing diners to eat buttery lettuce greens, sweet petite carrots and crunchy snap peas harvested just hours before reaching the plate. Chef Kevin Nashan is one of the latest chefs to go ultralocal at his Sidney Street Café, where he’s just finished installing a 100-yard culinary garden along the perimeter of the restaurant’s parking lot on Salena Street in Benton Park.

Nashan and his staff planted 72 varietals of vegetables and herbs. As the growing season reaches its peak, you’ll see herbs lining the near edges while beans and tomatoes trellis along the new fencing. Some Benton Park residents will assist in maintaining the garden – and enjoy the fruits of their labor. So too, will chef-restaurateur Gerard Craft of the nearby restaurants Niche and Taste by Niche. “He’s a great friend. I wouldn’t leave him out of this,” said Nashan as he stopped to point out where apricot, fig and pear trees were destined to be planted.

In addition to the vegetable garden project, Nashan is preparing to launch a charcuterie program. Hanging in the stone cellar of Sidney Street is a motherlode of cured meats – German salumi, Budapest sausages, prosciutto, andouille sausages and more. All that’s needed is for some petite butcher blocks to arrive and Sidney Street will be serving up this smorgasboard of cured meat products.

– Ligaya Figueras

By Katie O’Connor

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