Executive Chef Andy Arndt of Aquariva Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar finds the ingredients for his Sunday brunch menu close to home. As in his own backyard. In keeping with a growing trend of sustainable-thinking chefs who are "growing their own"—think Noble Rot's rooftop garden or Meriwether's Skyline Farm—this South Waterfront-centered chef appears to be growing some of his produce himself, while sourcing other ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and foragers. Says Arndt: “My garden is made up of three 4’x 6’ and two 2’ x 4’ raised beds...the reward after tending, mending, and watering is that the freshness and flavor is bar none...Last year I had heirloom seeds that he kept from his tomatoes—just a workhorse tomato variety—but keeping the seeds from such an old strain means something." Like brunch choices including his Southern Benny that substitutes the classic version with fried green tomatoes, butter lettuce, and bacon to accompany poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. No word yet on when he plans to hatch his own chickens for his egg-ier dishes.
Aquariva Chef Grows His Own Brunch Menu
by Byron Beck